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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 10, 31-42

The Jews fetched stones to stone him,

so Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many good works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?'

The Jews answered him, 'We are stoning you, not for doing a good work, but for blasphemy; though you are only a man, you claim to be God.'

Jesus answered: Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods?

So it uses the word 'gods' of those people to whom the word of God was addressed -- and scripture cannot be set aside.

Yet to someone whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world you say, 'You are blaspheming' because I said, 'I am Son of God.'

If I am not doing my Father's work, there is no need to believe me;

but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for certain that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

They again wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded their clutches.

He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to the district where John had been baptising at first and he stayed there.

Many people who came to him said, 'John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true';

and many of them believed in him.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Faced with the explosion of hatred and the attempt to stone him caused by his preaching of the Gospel, Jesus reacts with the calm of one who knows how to do the will of the Father who is in heaven. And he says to those who want to stone him: "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" The "Jews" refute that their harsh reaction is not in response to some mistaken action on the part of Jesus, but to his pretence— which they cannot tolerate—of likening himself to God. The poor and weak, however, who Jesus helped, loved and healed continued to follow and listen to him. They had understood that that love could not but come from God. But the people who look at the Gospel, and the works that come from it, with pride and coldness remain blind. To defend themselves from the love that wants to draw in all those who listen to it, they repeat the most logical objection: "It is impossible for salvation to come from the Gospel, from the weakness of the Church, or from the humble witness of the disciples." That is the meaning of the accusation spoken in the Gospel: "You, though only a human being, are making yourself God." It is true that Jesus is a true human being, but he is also truly God. That is the mystery of Jesus that the Gospel reveals to us and which becomes the very mystery of the Church, work of human beings and of God together. The apostle Paul defines the Church as the body of Christ. Through the Church, its sacraments, and the preaching of the Gospel we can enter into direct contact with God. In this sense we could say that the Church is the work of Christ, or better still, it is his very "body" that continues through time. The Christian community is the sacrament, the sign of Jesus’ presence throughout history. Jesus’ assertion does not appease the Jews. On the contrary, it convinces them to capture him, but Jesus flees from them. The evangelist John wants to underline that it is not the enemies who capture Jesus; rather it is he who gives himself over to them out of love. For now, he draws away and retreats to where John was baptizing. There, many continued to come to listen to him.

Memory of Jesus crucified

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 10 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 11 December
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 12 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 13 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 14 December
Memory of the Church
Friday, 15 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 16 December
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 17 December
Liturgy of the Sunday