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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 guide our steps along the road that Jesus travelled. He is not a child anymore. This passage from John presents him at the beginning of his public pastoral activity, at his baptism. The Baptist is on the banks of the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance. At a certain point - “the day after” says the evangelist, as if to emphasize the newness of what is happening - the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him. And he feels his heart leap. He recognizes him - it is the Messiah. Even without having met him before - even though he was preparing the way for him with his words and his baptism of repentance - he realizes who is standing before him. He had hoped to meet him. And the moment had finally arrived. So it had been for the old man Simeon. In truth - and this is made even clearer in this passage of the Gospel - it is Jesus who goes to meet the Baptist, just as he comes to meet each one of us. John tells the crowd frankly, “I myself did not know him.” This statement might seem hard to believe, because they are presented in the Gospel as relatives of the same age. But it is certainly true that John did not know the true face of Jesus: the face of the Messiah, the saviour. Now, having completed his inner journey by practicing penance and listening, he recognizes him and gives witness to him: “Here is the Lamb of God.” What the Baptist is experiencing in this moment is the same religious experience shared by every disciple of Jesus. In everyone’s life, no matter whether rich or poor, there is a moment in which we recognize and love the Lord whom we had not known. But this moment when we open our eyes is the result of an interior journey that consists on one hand of struggling against our pride and sense of self-sufficiency and on the other of listening to Scripture, praying in community and by ourselves, practicing love for the poor, and being helped by a brother or sister who convincingly witnesses to God’s paternity over us. Those who persevere on this path in search of the Lord will reach the moment when the eyes of their hearts open and they recognize Jesus as the Lord of their lives. And like the Baptist, they will testify to him before many.

Prayer of the Christmas season

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday