Reading 1 (ACTS 20:17-27)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned. 
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 68:10-11, 20-21)

R.(33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death. 
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (JOHN 14:16)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 17:1-11A)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: As the Easter Season draws to a close, the Gospel (John 17:1-11a) marks the end of Jesus’ Last Supper Discourses. In the Synoptic Gospels, he prays for courage and strength in the Garden of Gethsemane to undergo his Passion and Death. In John’s account, he prays for those who believe in him that they may continue to put their faith in him and in the Father. This is also the faith that will help face different trials and challenges. To believe in him is to follow his teachings, and that is also obeying the will of God the Father. Jesus himself was obedient to the Father, even until his Passion and Death for our sake. Because of this, he rose again from the dead and forty days after, was exalted at God’s right hand as our Lord and King. Lent serves as a renewal for us to celebrate Easter Time. Now that our paschal celebration is about to end on Pentecost Sunday, our mission continues with our faith in the Lord together with the strength of the Holy Spirit. We will also face different trials as we go along the way. In the First Reading (Acts 20:17-27), St. Paul addresses to the Ephesian presbyters about his mission of proclaiming the Good News in Christ’s name. He also narrates his sufferings and trials in doing the task. Yet he freely opens himself to continue completing the race in preaching until fate decides the time when God’s grace will be with him in heaven. So as we journey down the end of this Easter road, let us put our committed faith in Jesus by being faithful to his teachings even in times of persecution. To believe and follow Christ is to obey God’s will. Let us also ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in giving witness to the truth in the Lord.

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