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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Mary of Clopas who stood near the cross of the Lord with the other women. Prayer for all women in every part of the world who follow the Lord in difficulties and with courage. We remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was killed by the Nazis in the concentration camp of Flossenbürg

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 8, 31-42

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples;

you will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

They answered, 'We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, "You will be set free?" '

Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave.

Now a slave has no permanent standing in the household, but a son belongs to it for ever.

So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.

I know that you are descended from Abraham; but you want to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

What I speak of is what I have seen at my Father's side, and you too put into action the lessons you have learnt from your father.

They repeated, 'Our father is Abraham.' Jesus said to them: If you are Abraham's children, do as Abraham did.

As it is, you want to kill me, a man who has told you the truth as I have learnt it from God; that is not what Abraham did.

You are doing your father's work. They replied, 'We were not born illegitimate, the only father we have is God.'

Jesus answered: If God were your father, you would love me, since I have my origin in God and have come from him; I did not come of my own accord, but he sent me.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This Gospel passage should be understood in the context of the tension that arose between the first Christian community and the Jews of the time. The first Christians were put to the test by the hostility of those who claimed to keep the Mosaic law. The evangelist John firmly reminds Jesus’ disciples to continue in his Word; not just to listen to it, but to dwell in it as if it were their home, that is, to make it the most familiar word in their lives and put it into practice. Yes, we can say that the Word received and listened to with faith is the true house in which Christians are called to dwell. In fact, their lives should be enveloped by the Gospel, sustained by the Gospel, and leavened by the Gospel. Christian freedom is nothing other than listening to and following the words of the Gospel. That is the easy yoke of the Gospel, which frees us from the harsh chains of our love for ourselves. Freedom, in fact, does not come from a law or from the strength of our will, much less from belonging to something, even to the descendants of Abraham. Christian freedom is the result of holding fast to Jesus with all of our life. It means being able to live as full participants - along with all other disciples - in Jesus’ mission in the world. Christian freedom does not mean being free from all bonds and able to do whatever we want. That is selfishness and slavery to the world’s fashions and the seduction of evil. Freedom means being freed from the chains of the earth in order to participate in God’s great plan to make all people brothers and sisters and prepare the earth to welcome the fullness of God’s kingdom. After hearing Jesus preach these words, the Jews rose up against him, because they feared that if they followed him he would make them his slaves. In fact, there is a kind of presumption particular to slaves, the presumption of denying they are slaves at all, because sometimes being a slave is comfortable; it shelters us from responsibility and protects us from having to figure out which way to walk; it keeps us from the effort of being part of a we, part of the people Jesus came to earth to gather. The truth will make you free, Jesus says. And the truth is Jesus himself. It is by holding fast to Jesus - forever - that we are freed from all earthly slavery and given a foretaste of true freedom from sin. It is not enough to say we are Abraham’s children to truly be them, Jesus insists. The relationship that truly makes us friends and family of God comes from doing the work of the Father. Jesus replies: If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did! But those Jews were far from following Abraham. They wanted to kill Jesus, something that Abraham would never have even imagined. Abraham, on the contrary, did the greatest work a believer can do: he obeyed the word of the Lord and entrusted his entire life to him, as is written in the Letter to the Hebrews: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going (Heb 11:8).

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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