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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), “apostle of Rome”

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15, 26-16,4

When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.

And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

I have told you all this so that you may not fall away.

They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy service to God.

They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or me.

But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord turns to reassuring his disciples: it is true that soon they will be separated, but they will not be farther away. In fact, the love that has connected them and made them walk together all the way to Jerusalem will not end. After the dark moments of the passion and death, the resurrected Jesus will gather them around him again. And the new state of resurrection allows him to always be with the disciples, wherever they go. The love of Jesus, or we could say Christian love, does not end with the end of physical closeness. Jesus himself asks the disciples, after Easter, to confirm each other in the faith and to witness to the world the love that has united them to him and that which continues to guide them on his ways. The love that the Lord pours in their hearts comes down, in fact, from on high; it is not the fruit of their efforts; it is a special gift of God and it is an extraordinary love: living it, multiplies it and it shrinks into nothing if not practiced. Jesus told them, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” The Spirit of love that comes from the Father is transmitted to the disciples by the Son. Its strength evokes a friendship and an affection that connects them in a stable and strong way, rendering them capable of witnessing the same strength of the Spirit. The witnessing of this love by the disciples will always provoke opposition and hostility from those that do not know him--Jesus warns them of this. And enemies will try to endanger the life of the disciples. It is the sad reality of the persecutions that still today are afflicting believers. But the disciples must not be afraid, nor should they decrease faith in their Teacher. Jesus does not leave his own without resources when confronting the blind and wicked forces of evil. He warns them, “I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling.” The Lord does not abandon his own to their destinies. Certainly though, the disciples have a great responsibility: that of communicating the Gospel of gratuitous love to this our world so that it distances itself from evil and sin and finds the way of salvation.

Memory of the Poor

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 26 March
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 27 March
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 28 March
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 29 March
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 30 March
Memory of the Church
Friday, 31 March
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 1 April
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 2 April
Liturgy of the Sunday