4th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 12:24—13:5
Meanwhile the word of God was increasing and spreading. Barnabas and Saul carried out their mission and then came back from Jerusalem, taking with them John also called Mark.
There were at Antioch—in the Church which was there—prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul. On one occasion while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.” So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
These then, sent by the Holy Spirit, went down to the port of Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. Upon their arrival in Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogue; John was with them as an assistant.
Gospel: John 12:44-50
Jesus said, and even cried out, “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.”
Jesus constantly referred beyond himself. “I am the gate of the sheepfold,” he once said (Jn 10:7). A gate is given meaning by what it leads to. There is something offensive about a locked door, a shuttered window. We know perfectly well why doors and windows have to prevent access at times, for it is still felt as a sort of reproof. In an ideal world, doors and windows would always be open! Jesus is such a door, such a window. He is the Way to the Father, “he is the image of the invisible God.”
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