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Easter 4th Week, Wednesday, May 6th


Acts 12:24 - 13:5 / John 12:44-50 

Jesus talks about his mission: “I came into the world as light.”

A group of Chinese Christian clergymen invited an American professor of Scripture to give them a workshop on the Bible. In the course of the workshop the professor asked the clergymen to pick out the episode in the Gospel that impressed them most. To his surprise, they did not choose the Sermon on the Mount, the crucifixion of Jesus, or the resurrection of Jesus. They chose Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet. The choice of the Chinese clergymen fits in perfectly with what Jesus says in today’s gospel about his mission: He came into the world to be its light. In other words, he came into the world to serve.

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How well do we imitate Jesus’ life of service? “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Mark 10:45
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We may have noticed since the Easter season began, the 1st reading has been consistently from the Acts of the Apostles, and so will it be until the end of the Easter season.That being said, the Acts of the Apostles not only gives us a picture of what the early church was about, it also sets what can be called "procedures" and "guidelines" for the later church to follow.

In the 1st reading, we heard that the Holy Spirit "spoke" to the disciples and indicated that He has chosen Barnabas and Saul for a particular mission. That seemed so obvious and clear and it seemed that no discernment was necessary and there was no contention about what needed to be done. However we must remember that it was while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast when the Holy Spirit "spoke" to them.
And it was also after fasting and prayer that they laid their hands on the chosen one and then sent them off for the mission. For the early church, worship and prayer and fasting were moments of encountering the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit also revealed to them the mind of God. What happened in the early church will also happen in today's church when we take our worship and prayer and fasting seriously. Indeed, worship and prayer and fasting are moments of encountering the Risen Christ and He sends the Holy Spirit to direct us in His ways. What happened then in the Acts of the Apostles will also happen now, but only when we take our worship and prayer and fasting seriously.

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Easter –Wed 4th week - LITURGY

Introduction
"I came not to judge the world but to save the world," says Jesus to us today. What he came to bring us is life, life without end, eternal life. He comes as light in our world. If we believe in him, we come to see in his light where we lack love that moves the world, where our sense of justice is only half-hearted. In his light we learn to see how we can serve one another and become rich and mature as human beings. Then we too become small lights that bring a bit of light and warmth in our cold world.

Penitential Rite:
-Lord, you have come to us in the darkness of our world, LHM
-Lord, you have let your light shine out in our shadows, CHM
-You have come not to condemn us but to redeem us by your light, LHM

Opening Prayer
Lord our God, through your Son Jesus Christ you assure us that he came not to condemn us but to bring us life, a life worth living, a life that is rich and refreshing us and our world with love and a spirit of service. Let Jesus stay with us as the light in which we see all that is good and worth living for and let us share in his life that has no end. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

General Intercessions
- That also young churches may be willing to send missionaries to people who do not yet enjoy the light of Christ, we pray:
- That people who live with uncertainty and in the darkness of fear and suffering may see the light of Christ bring them relief and strength, we pray:
- That all of us in this community may be at least pale reflections of the light of Christ, we pray:

Commentary
God would have been within His rights to condemn the human race for its many transgressions against His will. History shows that human beings possess a reprehensible capacity for evil.   Yet God would become man not to condemn but to save the human race. Teaching the law of love, Jesus would show us the way that would lead us beyond our human failings into the true freedom that comes from being sons and daughters of God.  Following the teachings of Jesus leads us not only to heaven, but to a new and abundant way of living here on earth.

Prayer over the Gifts
Eternal Father, we have not to wait for the end of our pilgrimage on earth to enjoy the happiness of eternal life. As we will eat the body of Jesus and drink his blood of strength, make the life of Jesus grow in us and blossom forth into eternal life. Fulfill in us this promise given us by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
God, Father of all, the zeal of your missionaries won many people for the young Church. May the word proclaimed to us never leave us indifferent but help us to grow in the knowledge and even more in the love of your Son.
Spirit of wisdom, we realize that we need not know everything. Keep from us the trajectory of the lightning and the boundaries of the abyss. Rather fill this earthen vessel with simple faith amid a universe of mysteries, with childlike hope against the unknown future, and with quiet love for your holy truths. We make this…