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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

Glory to God in the highest
and peace on earth to the people he loves.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 1, 29-34

The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me."

I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.'

And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him.

I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit."

I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel continues to accompany us on our path in the footsteps of Jesus. He is no longer a child. He is now at the beginning of his public pastoral ministry. John the evangelist opens this new period in Jesus’ life with the baptism narrative. John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him and his heart leaps: he recognizes in him the Messiah. Even though he had never met Jesus, he had been preparing the way for him with his words and penitential baptism and guesses who is in front of him. He hoped to meet him and the moment had arrived. It had been this way for the elderly Simeon, of whom we read in Luke a few days ago. In truth, and in this Gospel passage, it appears very clearly that it is Jesus who comes to meet the Baptist, just as he comes to meet each of us. John declares, "I myself did not know him." This statement could seem unlikely, given the fact that the Gospels portray them as relatives of virtually the same age. In reality, John did not know the true face of Jesus, that of the Messiah, of the Saviour. Now, after having completed his interior journey by practicing penitence and by listening, he recognizes Jesus and bears witness to him: "Here is the Lamb of God." This is the religious experience of every believer. There is a moment in the life of each of us, no matter how poor or rich, in which the Lord, whom we did not know, becomes known and loved. This moment, in which our eyes are opened, is the result of an interior journey that entails, on the one hand, a struggle against one’s own pride and sense of self-sufficiency, and on the other hand, listening to Scripture, common and personal prayer, practicing love for the poor and welcoming a brother or sister who authoritatively witnesses to us the Lord’s paternity. Whoever perseveres on this path of seeking the Lord will reach the moment when the eyes of the heart will open and will recognize Jesus as the Lord of his or her life. And like John the Baptist, that person will bear witness to Jesus before all peoples.

Prayer of the Christmas season

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday