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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 8,51-59

In all truth I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death. The Jews said, 'Now we know that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, "Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death." Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?' Jesus answered: If I were to seek my own glory my glory would be worth nothing; in fact, my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, 'He is our God,' although you do not know him. But I know him, and if I were to say, 'I do not know him,' I should be a liar, as you yourselves are. But I do know him, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad. The Jews then said, 'You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!' Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, before Abraham ever was, I am. At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

“Whoever keeps my word will never see death.” The declaration that opens today’s Gospel passage immerses us directly in the liberating spring of the Word of God and helps us understand what God’s will is for each one of us. And yet, in the face of such troubling words, often we, like the Jews of the time, raise more than a few obstacles. It is quite peculiar that while the Lord wants to give us the fullness of life, that is, a life that does not end with death, he encounters resistance and opposition from us. We often prefer to live a life subjected to a hard law, that is, a life enslaved to self-love, rather than upsetting the tranquil normalcy of our lives. Indeed many look with wariness and hostility at the generous offer the Lord makes each one of us, the offer of a different life, a more human and more meaningful life. But we often refuse such great love. We are would be willing to accept some form of the Gospel if it were less demanding and did not disturb us too much. How often do we too say to the Gospel, “Are you greater than Abraham?” Behind this question is concealed an attempt to flatten the Gospel, to empty it of its strength, to bring it down to the level of normalcy. To take the prophecy out of the Gospel, its otherness from the world, is like killing it. In truth, if we choose the Gospel we must stop living our lives turned in on ourselves, and we must follow Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve. If we instead resign ourselves to the hardness of our selfishness, we easily become like those bystanders who picked up stones to throw at Jesus. And what are stones if not the feelings and the deeds that we hurl to offend and destroy each other? The Lord wants his disciples to show mercy and forgiveness.

Memory of the Church

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday