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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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 16, 16-20

In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.

Then some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean, "In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again," and, "I am going to the Father"?

What is this "short time"? We don't know what he means.'

Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said, 'You are asking one another what I meant by saying, "In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again."

'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues to speak to his disciples and tells them about his imminent departure and forthcoming return. Earlier he had told them that he would return to the Father and send them the Paraclete. Now, he lifts their spirits from sadness by promising them that he is absence will be short and that they will see him soon: "A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me." The disciples are a bit disorientated by these words, but Jesus, in reality, wants to tell them about his death and resurrection. This is what he means by saying that his being distant will be transformed into closeness. Jesus is talking about his death and resurrection, but before the disciples are overcome with disappointment and discouragement, Jesus wants to explain to them that the painful, wrenching absence that they will experience at his departure from earth to return to the Father is not, in reality, a separation. After his death will come his resurrection. And his victory over death will allow all to overcome every distance. What matters for the disciples of then and of today, is to continue to look for him and want to be near him. The disciples are upset by what seems to be a paradox: how can physical distance become even closer proximity? Jesus does not leave this troubling question without an answer. He tells his disciples that the pain and sadness they feel at his departure will become a prayer of invocation, capable of transforming the sadness of distance into the joy of rediscovered proximity. In effect, after Jesus’ ascension to the Father, all men and women, in every part of the world, can have the Lord at their side if they call on him in prayer: the Lord will speak to their hearts through his Word, through the Eucharist, and through the love of the community.

Memory of the Church

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday