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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint John, apostle and evangelist, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” who under the cross took Mary as his mother

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 20, 2-8

and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,' she said, 'and we don't know where they have put him.'

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb.

They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first;

he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in.

Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground

and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.

Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John is one of the first four disciples Jesus called. The evangelist remembers the exact hour the encounter occurred on the lake of Tiberias; it was four in the afternoon. How could John forget the meeting that changed his life? John was with Andrew, Peter’s brother, on the banks of the Jordan River listening to John the Baptist. Listening to the Baptist’s words about Jesus, “Here is the Lamb of God....” they were startled. They left the prophet they were following, the Baptist, and after following Jesus stayed with him the entire afternoon. Those hours marked John’s life, as well Peter’s, forever. From that time on, John became Jesus’ disciple. According to tradition, he is the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” It was John, the only one who laid his head upon Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper and who, along with Peter and James, stayed by his side during the night of his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. And even though John ultimately returned to the cross where he accepted Jesus’ invitation to receive Mary as his mother, he first fled and abandoned Jesus just like all the other disciples. In today’s Gospel, we see John running with Peter toward Jesus’ tomb early on Easter morning. Younger than Peter, John arrived at the tomb first and saw the shrouds on the ground but did not enter. He waited for Peter, ahead in years. The Church Fathers comment that love runs faster and arrives first. John, however, knows how to wait for his brother so that they may enter together in the cave of the tomb. We should never run by ourselves. John learned that Jesus always sent his disciples “two by two.” Even that morning they entered the tomb in two. As soon as John entered, he “saw and believed.” He understood that Jesus’ body had not been stolen (due to the presence of the folded bandages) and believed. His testimony, recorded in the fourth Gospel and in the Letters, is entirely centred upon the proclamation of love for God and for brothers and sisters, which was understood as the heart of his Teacher’s message. Tradition says that John, in his old age, was carried on a chair in the assembly of the Christians and would always repeat the commandment of love. When he was asked why he continued to repeat it, he would say, “Because it is the Lord’s commandment! If we put it into practice, it is enough!”

Prayer of the Christmas season

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