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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 7th of Easter

1st Reading (Acts 20:28-38): At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus: «Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own Blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.

And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated. I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions. In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’».

When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all. They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
Responsorial Psalm: 67
R/. Sing to God, o kingdoms of the earth.
Show forth, O God, your power, the power, O God, with which you took our part; for your temple in Jerusalem let the kings bring you gifts.

You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, chant praise to the Lord who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens. Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power: «Confess the power of God!».

Over Israel is his majesty; his power is in the skies. Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 17:17): Alleluia. Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 17,11b-19): Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed, «I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world whereas I am going to you. Holy Father, keep them in your Name that you have given me, so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I kept them safe in your Name, and not one was lost except the one who was already lost, and in this the Scripture was fulfilled.

»But now I am coming to you and I leave these my words in the world that my joy may be complete in them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of the world; just as I am not of the world. I do not ask you to remove them from the world but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world; consecrate them in the truth —your word is truth. I have sent them into the world as you sent me into the world, and for their sake, I go to the sacrifice by which I am consecrated, so that they too may be consecrated in truth».

«That my joy may be complete in them»

Fr. Thomas LANE
(Emmitsburg, Maryland, United States)

Today, we live in a world which does not know how to be truly happy with the happiness of Jesus, a world which seeks the happiness of Jesus in all the wrong places and in the wrong ways. Seeking happiness without Jesus only leads to deeper unhappiness. Just look at the soaps on TV, there is always somebody in trouble. The soaps on TV show us the misery of a godless life.

But we want to live this day with the joy of Jesus. Jesus prayed to his Father in our Gospel today, «I leave these my words in the world that my joy may be complete in them» (Jn 17,13). Notice that Jesus wants his joy to be complete in us. He wants us to be full of his joy. This does not mean that we will not have crosses, for «the world has hated them because they are not of the world» (Jn 17,14), but Jesus expects us to live with his joy no matter what the world thinks of us. The joy of Jesus is to permeate us to our very core while the superficial rumblings of a godless world should not penetrate us.

Today then let us live with the joy of Jesus. How can we acquire more and more of this joy of Jesus? Obviously from Jesus himself. Jesus is the only one who gives us the true joy that the world is lacking as we see in the soaps on TV. Jesus said, «If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you» (Jn 15,7). Then let us spend time each day in prayer with the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let us eat and consume the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let them be our food, so that we may be satiated with the joy of Jesus: «Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon» (Benedict XVI).