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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 12,44-50

Jesus declared publicly: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as light, to prevent anyone who believes in me from staying in the dark any more. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall judge such a person, since I have come not to judge the world, but to save the world: anyone who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken of my own accord; but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel passage we heard brings us into the upper room where Jesus had just finished washing his disciples’ feet. In so doing, he wanted to teach and show them how far his love goes. He wanted this type of love to exist between them as the highest possible qualification for whoever wanted to be his disciple. Solemnly he tells them, “Servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.” Disciples of past and present are called to behave according to this logic that Jesus showed in such a lively manner by washing the feet of the apostles. It was the most evident way to comment on the teaching of loving one another to the point of giving one’s own life. And in this responsibility of giving oneself is hidden the joy of the faithful: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” In this, we see a Christianity that finds its joy in loving others, in spending its life for the Gospel. Not that this comes without labour and sacrifice, but communicating the Gospel gives us the greatest joy because we are participating in God’s great plan of love on this earth. Unfortunately, Jesus’ disciples don’t always live in this spirit. We, too, allow ourselves to become overpowered by an egocentric and lazy lifestyle. And in so doing, we distort the Gospel, and the power of change loses its strength. Judas is a tragic example of a life gone adrift. Although he had followed Jesus closely, so much so that he had “eaten bread” from the same dish, Judas ends up selling him for a few coins. Jesus, however, knowing the weakness of his disciples, warns them of the difficulties that they will face so that they will be able to resist the snares of evil. What matters is remaining connected to Jesus. The evangelist seems to suggest the solemnity of Jesus’ epiphany: “I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he.” The phrase “I am he” harkens to the voice Moses heard from the burning bush. Essentially, by listening to Jesus, we are listening to the very voice of the Father in heaven.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 22 January
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 23 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 24 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 25 January
Memory of the Apostles
Friday, 26 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 27 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 28 January
Liturgy of the Sunday