4th Week of Easter, Thursday

Readings: Acts 13:13–25; Psalm 89:2–3, 21–22, 25, 27; John 13:16–20.

In today’s First Reading Paul is winding up to pitch to the Jews listening to him in the synagogue that Our Lord is the fulfillment of all the promises and events that came before him: tradition means handing on something, and Jesus brings that tradition to fullness and asks us to hand on his message to the generations that follow us.

In the Gospel he describes the role of the disciples: servants and messengers. The original Greek for the word “messenger” in today’s Gospel is the same root word as apostle: an apostle, whether we’re talking about the Twelve or any Christian, is someone who is sent, someone who bears a message. As apostles we bear the message of Our Lord, just as he had brought it from Our Heavenly Father. It is not only the message that matters; how we deliver it also affects how it is received. That’s why our service as bearers of Christ’s message must by characterized by humility and a desire to serve the recipient of the message. In today’s Gospel Jesus has just finished washing the disciples’ feet, a menial service. As his disciples we too should not be afraid to do things we consider menial in order to transmit the message Our Lord has entrusted to us; sometimes that gives greater witness to Christ than anything we could say.

Let’s make an effort today to serve others with humility out of love for Our Lord and a desire to transmit his message in the best way possible: through our charity.

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