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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 4th of Easter

1st Reading (Acts 12:24—13:5): The word of God continued to spread and grow. After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission, they returned to Jerusalem, taking with them John, who is called Mark. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, «Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them». Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.
Responsorial Psalm: 66
R/. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.

May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.

May the peoples praise you, o God; may all the peoples praise you! May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 8:12): Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 12,44-50): Jesus declared publicly: «Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me, sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him; for I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me, and does not receive my word, already has a judge: the very word I have spoken will condemn him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has instructed me in what to say and how to speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life, and that is why the message I give, I give as the Father instructed me».

«Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me»

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB
(Mendoza, Argentina)

Today, Jesus cries out; He cries out just as someone who is saying words everybody should clearly listen to. His clamor synthesizes his saving mission, as He has come «to save the world» (Jn 12:47), but not on his own but in the name of «the Father who sent me and has instructed me in what to say and how to speak» (Jn 12:49).

It is not yet a month ago when we were celebrating the Paschal Triduum: how much present was the Father in the final hour, the hour of the Cross! As His Holiness John Paul II has written, «Jesus, overwhelmed by his foreknowledge of the trial waiting for him, alone before God, invokes him with his usual and tender expression of trust: ‘Abbá, Father’». The next hours clearly show the intimate dialogue of the Son with the Father: «Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing» (Lk 23:34); «Father, into your hands I commend my spirit» (Lk 23:46).

The importance of this work by the Father and his Messenger, well deserves the personal response of he who is listening. This response is to believe, that is, a profession of faith (cf. Jn 12:44); faith that gives us the light —by the same Jesus— so that we shall not remain in darkness. But, he who rejects all these gifts and manifestations, and does not listen to those words «already has a judge: the very Word I have spoken» (Jn 12:48).

Therefore, to accept Jesus is to believe in, see and listen to the Father, not to be in darkness, to obey the command of eternal life. We certainly deserve Saint John of the Cross' rebuke: «[The Father] with this Word said everything in one go (...). Consequently, if you would like to ask God now, or should you pretend some kind of vision or revelation, it would not only be a piece of nonsense, but an offence for God, for not looking up only at Christ without asking for any other thing or novelty».