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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a priest who died as a martyr for love. He accepted death in the concentration camp of Auschwitz to save the life of another man.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 3, 11-18

This is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we must love one another,

not to be like Cain, who was from the Evil One and murdered his brother. And why did he murder his brother? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's upright.

Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you.

We are well aware that we have passed over from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love, remains in death.

Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you are well aware that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

This is the proof of love, that he laid down his life for us, and we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him?

Children, our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Referring back to what he had just written about the love for one’s brothers and sisters, the apostle reaffirms the primacy of fraternal love and reminds Christians that the first words they heard - the apostle has been proclaiming them from the beginning - were "love one another." Only in fraternal love can men and women be saved from homicidal violence. The example of Cain ("who was from evil") offers a powerful example of the homicidal force that is hidden in selfishness and pride. The Christian is the exact opposite of Cain. Not only should we "not hate" the other, but rather we should love the other. Jesus said as much in the Sermon on the Mountain, "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or a sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to hell" (Mt5:21-22). Love becomes the primary inspiration for the whole life of the disciple of Jesus. Love for the enemy is the definite test of universal love that goes beyond human ideas and understanding. This is why it comes from God and it is a paradox to regular human understanding. Whoever does not love falls into the coils of the devil, who pushes people from indifference to the abyss of complicity with evil. There are no middle terms [or places] between love and hatred: either we choose the former or we are slaves of the latter. This radical irreconcilability is what makes the world so opposed to Christians: love is violently blocked by those who are distant from love and want to banish it from life. That is what happened to Jesus and what continues to happen to his disciples every time they give witness to the commandment of love. But whoever loves his or her brothers or sisters is already in life, and death has no more power over him or her. The Christian is called to give witness to love in deed and not in words; that is, in concrete service to the poorest. That is where the Lord’s love is revealed.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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