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Easter 4th Week, Thursday, May 7th


Acts 13:13-25 / John 13:16-20 
Jesus teaches about service: “No slave is greater than his master”

Eastern Mennonite College ran an unusual ad in Campus Life magazine. After describing how everyone today is striving to be “on top,” the ad noted that it wasn’t much different in Jesus’ day. Even Jesus’ closest disciples wanted to be “on top.” Jesus made a dramatic statement about this attitude. He simply tied a towel around his waist and washed their feet. In other words, he dramatized in action what he had taught in words:

The one who wishes to be “on top” must serve. The ad concluded, “And so if you want to be the greatest, come and learn with us.” Jesus would have liked that ad.
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What kind of sense of service do we have? “We will crawl under your car oftener and get ourselves dirtier than any of our competitors.” Service station sign
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One of the potholes and pitfalls in human relationships is the disagreement in opinions that often lead to quarrels and even fights. This often happens between superior and subordinates, between manager and worker, between parent and children, and the list goes on and on. And because of this disagreement, there is so much unhappiness and that can make life quite miserable.

In the gospel, Jesus gave us a direction for happiness in life. He said this: I tell you solemnly, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him. Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly. "Happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly". So, what is meant by behaving accordingly? In the simplest of terms, it means to be obedient.

Just as a servant is obedient to his master, and not to think that he is better or smarter than his master. It is this kind of simple obedience that will bring about happiness in our lives because we know where we stand in life and we know that we must respect our elders and superiors. It is also this kind of simple obedience that is required when it comes to our relationship with God. It is in obeying God and doing His will that we will attain happiness in life.

God's will for us is as plain and as simple as this - to follow His Son Jesus, who emptied Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. So, when we empty ourselves of our pride and humbly obey our elders and superiors, we will indeed be happy in life.
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Easter-Thursday-4th week - Liturgy


Introduction
In his preaching Paul presents Christ as the one to whose coming the whole Old Testament was leading, and John the Baptist as the immediate announcer of Jesus' appearance of that fulfillment.
Jesus had told his disciples quite insistently and emphatically that neither power nor rank was to be the mark of the disciple but service: serving love. Now at the Last Supper he showed this by his own example when he, the Lord and Master washed the feet of his apostles. They, the servants, are no greater than their master, and his messengers are no greater than Jesus who sends them.

-You washed the feet the disciples to reveal to them the master who came to serve, LHM
-You call us to service in our families and communities as a sign of our Christian love and fidelity, CHM
-You call us away from the pressure of worldly accomplishments, LHM

Opening Prayer
All-powerful God, your Son Jesus reminds us today that we are no greater than your and our servant, Jesus, our Lord and master. Give us the love and endurance to serve you and people without waiting for awards or gratitude and to accept the difficulties and contradictions which are part of the Christian life and which are normal for followers of him who bore the cross for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary
Just as Jesus is sent by the Father to accomplish the mission of salvation, so too does the Lord send each of us to accomplish a mission in life. Each of us has something to do in this life that no one else on earth can do. Each of us is called to build up the kingdom of God in a manner that is unique to our circumstances in life.
We pray that we will have the wisdom to know the Lord's will, and the courage to put His will into practice. The Lord builds up the Kingdom, but He chooses to do so through you and me.

General Intercessions
- For the leaders and ministers in the Church, that they may not seek honor and power but in all simplicity serve their brothers and sisters, we pray:
- For all those in public office, that they may not just seek power and private gain but give the best of themselves to work for the interests of people and country, we pray:
- For doctors and nurses, that they may serve the sick with great love and dedication, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, as your Son Jesus himself serves us in the signs of bread and wine, he asks us to drink with him the cup of self-sacrificing service. Let your Son fill us with that love which alone can understand that to be great is to serve others and to use up our lives to give them a chance to live. May we seek no other reward than to share the destiny of Jesus, our Lord and Savior for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Loving Father, in this Eucharistic celebration your Son Jesus has been with us as the servant of us all. Let him dispose our hearts and give us his sensitive courage to understand and accept others, to accompany them on the road of life, to suffer their pains, to rejoice with their joys and to carry each other's burdens, that he may be with us now and for ever.