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Friday after Epiphany, 10-01-20 Plus Liturgy

1 John 5:5-13 / Luke 5:12-16
Jesus is the Son of God: Water, blood, and Spirit testify to Jesus.

After Jesus’ baptism in water, a voice from heaven testified, “You are my own dear Son.” Mark 1:11. After Jesus’ death in blood on the cross, a Roman officer was moved to testify, “This man was really the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

After Jesus’ ascension to the Father, the Spirit descended on Pentecost and formed the frightened followers of Jesus into the Body of Christ, the Church. (John20:19). The waters of baptism,
the blood of the cross, and the Spirit on Pentecost—all testify to the divine sonship of Jesus.
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What is there about Jesus that makes us look at him and say? “This man was really the Son of God”? Jesus “shows you stars you never saw before.” Alfred Lord Tennyson
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The feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of the birth of Christ to the whole world. The Magi, or the wise men, came to pay homage to the new born king of the Jews with gifts of mystical meaning - gold to symbolize royalty; frankincense to symbolize divinity and myrrh to symbolize humanity.

In the days after the feast of Epiphany, the readings at Mass continue to expound on the revelation of the identity and mission of Jesus. Over the week, we have heard Jesus had power over substance - there was the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men.

Jesus also had power over nature when He calmed the rough sea and the strong winds. In today's gospel, we see Jesus having power over illness and disease, and in this case, it was the dreaded leprosy.
Jesus is our Saviour and Healer. He came to heal us of our illness and infirmities. He wants to make us whole so that we can radiate the glory of God. Yet we must open ourselves to His love and healing grace. One of the areas in our lives is that of forgiveness.

We need to be forgiven and healed so that we in turn can be able to forgive and let others be healed. When we are able to forgive others and heal them with the love that God has loved us with, we reveal God to others.
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LITURGY

LIFE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS

Introduction
What John says in his letter about faith in Jesus is exemplified in the gospel. Faith consists in believing in Jesus Christ, “who came by water and blood”; when he was baptized in the waters of the Jordan, he was proclaimed Son of God; by shedding his blood on the cross, he accomplished his mission. This Jesus has eternal life. By believing in him, we encounter him as a person and share in his life.
The leper believes in him: “You can cure me,” he says. Jesus restores the man’s health and thus manifests once more that God’s power and life is in him.

Opening Prayer
Lord God of life, we believe with all that is in us that Jesus is your Son and our Savior. He can heal us from the leprosy of sin
and give us a share in the fullness of his life. Deepen our faith in him and let it change our lives. Let us encounter your Son from person to person, that he may live in us and that we may bear witness that he is our Lord and Savior, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Commentary

Credence is derived from the credentials presented. We may be inclined to think of Christ’s credentials as his miracles. And yet in many instances, when it comes to the miracles of Jesus, he counsels silence. The principal note of credibility that the Gospels set forth is the witness that the Father gives in sending his Son into the world in atonement for sin and then bringing him through his ordeal to the glory of the resurrection. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ hears that testimony. Whoever rejects that teaching makes of God a liar and has no life in him.
In today’s Gospel, the cured leper is told to present himself to the priest in order to be restored to the community. Any form of leprosy, which included even skin disorders, excluded one from participation in the life of the community. Reintegration could only take place with the priest’s acknowledgment that the disease was no longer present. While the teaching of Jesus went beyond the Jewish law, he was never indifferent to its prescriptions. He was a reformer, not an iconoclast. There are those who remain attached to practices that are no longer in the forefront of church life. These people deserve respect and reverence even when our religious mentality differs pronouncedly. Religious practice dies a very slow death. While we may not always share another’s convictions, we can still appreciate his or her position.
The words of John today retain their overriding importance. Jesus Christ stands at the heart and center of our belief. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. There is nothing this side of heaven that has greater importance than our single Lord and Savior. To believe in him with total conviction is to have eternal life.

Points to Ponder
The Father’s witness to Jesus
Jesus’ respect for the Law
Eternal life begins now.
Intercessions
– That all Christians, especially our leaders of the Church, may by their goodness and their spontaneous joy bear forceful witness that Jesus Christ is our risen Lord, we pray:
– That all peoples of the earth may hear where the Lord can be found and come to know his name and pray to him, we pray:
– That the faith and hope of the sick and the dying may be firmly anchored in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, in these signs of bread and wine we remember that Jesus shed his blood to let us share in his life and love. Renew us by his body and blood, that we may grow in his likeness and that you may recognize in us the face of your own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, loving Father, your Son has been with us and we entrust ourselves to him in faith. Let this faith so mark our lives
that whatever the future brings, we keep trusting and hoping that he is our life and joy and healing, and that with him and on account of him we will live in your love for ever and ever.

Blessing
“Whoever has Jesus, the Son, has life,” says the apostle John to us today. May Jesus’ life keep growing in all of us, and may God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.