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The Everyday Prayer

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

Thanksgiving to the Lord for the year that has passed.

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

1 John 2,18-21

Children, this is the final hour; you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and now many Antichrists have already come; from this we know that it is the final hour. They have gone from among us, but they never really belonged to us; if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. But this was to prove that not one of them belonged to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received knowledge. I have written to you not because you are ignorant of the truth, but because you are well aware of it, and because no lie can come from the truth.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We have reached the end of the calendar year. The First Letter of John opens with the statement that "this is the last hour." We may follow an ancient tradition of the Church that invites us to sing the Te Deum, the ancient song of thanksgiving, for the days the Lord has given us. We know well that the end of the year it is a conventional date. Yet it is well to remember that the time in which we live is not a dimension indifferent to human existence, and that the days of our life are not eternal. Indeed, the days and the years pass and we are asked not to waste them, not to throw them away, but to live them in the presence of God. History in fact is not an empty shell: it is the place where our salvation occurs, the place where the tough battle between good and evil, between freedom to love and slavery to sin is fought. The Apostle John emphasizes this fight by calling attention to the presence of false prophets identified with the antichrist. It is the last the time of the final battle. Several times in the Gospels Jesus warns the disciples about the "end of time", about the last hour. Mark says: "False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect" (Mk 13:23). This warning also appears in the letters of Paul, Peter and Judah. By saying that "the last hour has come," John does not claim that history is going to end, but that now is the time of decision, the final choice that everyone has to make before Jesus and his Gospel. This is true for every Christian generation, in fact for every believer. Indeed we are all tested during our lives by the enemies of the Gospel. We need to remain strong with Jesus and face the task that the Lord has entrusted to us. We cannot delay the decision to other moments, because we do not know if there will be any. John sadly notes that false prophets (antichrists) "went out from us, but they did not belong to us." They were not "anointed by the Holy One," i.e., they did not have the Spirit of Jesus poured into their hearts. Yes, it is not enough to be physically present in the community of believers, it is necessary to live with the Spirit that animates it, to be involved from within. And this happens when you own "knowledge", which is the wisdom of the Gospel. The apostle exhorts us to remain steadfast in the Gospel; this is the way to remain in communion with the Father. While this year closes and a new one opens, the Church invites us to thank God for the time that has elapsed and to face the coming year by letting His Word guide us. May it be the light of our steps.

Te Deum

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