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Easter 4th Week, Friday, May 8th


Acts 13:26-33 / John 14:1-6 
Jesus makes a promise: “I will come back.”

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II on December 7,1941, they invaded and occupied the Philippines. Three months later, on March 11,1942, General Douglas MacArthur was forced to flee from the Philippines. Before leaving for Australia, he told the islanders, “I shall return.” Two and a half years later, on October 20,1944, he kept his promise. Landing on Leyte Island, General MacArthur said, “I have returned.” Jesus, too, promised to return after he departed from this world. Like MacArthur, he will reappear someday and say, “I have returned.” When Jesus returns at the end of time, will we greet him with the same joy that the islanders greeted MacArthur? “I am going to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

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Whenever we hear of a person or a group of people being chosen for a task or a mission, we will have some assumptions or presuppositions or expectations. We might assume that this person or this group of people have the abilities or qualities for being chosen. We might presuppose that they deserve the privilege of being chosen because of some talents or skills.

We will also expect them to fulfill the task or mission that they are chosen for. Yet, for Israel, the Chosen people of God, such was not the case.

In fact, as St. Paul puts it in the 1st reading, they did everything contrary to their task or mission as the Chosen people of God. Yet, in doing so, they ironically fulfilled the prophesies in the scriptures. In a way, we can say that God made it straight even despite the crookedness of His Chosen people. Indeed, it was God who chose Israel and it was God who fulfilled the mission of Israel.

It is God who chose us to be His people. As His people, we have to learn the lessons from the history of Israel and to straighten up the crookedness of our lives. We may have failed in the past but let not our hearts be troubled or lose faith. Let us trust in Jesus who will show us the way of truth so that we will know how to live our lives.
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Easter, 4th week, Friday - LITURGY


Introduction
In the synagogue Paul proclaims the risen Christ. That Christ is risen is not merely an important event of the past: it is, as Paul says, "a message of salvation meant for you. We have come here to tell you the good news." It is meant for us today.
What is our task and the mission of all Christians in the world today? To proclaim the good news that Christ is risen and alive among us. To do what Christ did. To be Christ to one another and to the world. For we are God's priestly people and missionary people. We do not stand alone in this task. For the living Christ is with us today as our way, our truth and our life.

-You are the way, as we get wayward and strayed away, LHM
-You are the truth, as we easily succumb to lies and half truths, CHM
-You are the life, as we lose the zest for life, LHM

Opening Prayer
Lord our God, your Son Jesus Christ is to us the way that leads to you and to one another, the truth that is good news of love and hope, the life which he sacrificed to give it. Help us to show the way to him and to go his way to one another, to speak the truth that is encouraging and credible, to give life by sharing happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary
When we are lost and cannot find the way, we welcome any and all help that is offered. Our hearts rejoice when someone not only offers directions, but invites us to follow him as he leads us to our destination. Jesus not only teaches us about the joys of heaven, He leads us by His own death through the waters of death, and by His glorious resurrection He leads us to the place prepared for us from the beginning of creation. We are wise to listen to the directions of the Lord, and even wiser when we follow Him where He leads.

General Intercessions
Let us pray to our Father in heaven that Christ, who is our way, truth and life, may still be among us today and that we may become the way to him. We say: Stay with us, Lord.
- For the pope, bishops, priests, and all who have a ministry of service in the Church, that the truth may become visible in them because of the way they serve, we pray:
- For public officials, that they may prepare for the people the way to justice, peace and unity, we pray:
- For the hungry and the lonely, for the poor and the little people, that we may restore their dignity and their hope in life, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, your Son Jesus showed us that he is the way, the truth and the life by giving himself for us all on the cross and giving himself to us now. May we learn from him to give to one another our time, our compassion, our service and above all to give ourselves, together with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he who sees Jesus, sees you. May the people around us see the Father in heaven and the Son when we become to one another the way to hope, justice and love, the truth that uplifts and reassures, the life that is not afraid of committing ourselves even when the cost is high. May you thus become to all with and through Christ the way, the truth and the life for ever. Amen.