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.”
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
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.
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.
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.”
“I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me…” (Acts 20:19)
I’ve always been scared of what life had to offer. But if there was something I was always told, it was to stay true to the Lord, especially in the hardest of times. Before, it was something I could not mentally grasp, but it all made a bit more sense when I was able to join the Bukas Loob Sa Diyos community. It was there where I felt a different kind of love, and it was something I would never want to lose.
The people in the community would let me feel a genuine sense of joy and belonging, and they would always lead me to activities and places that were gentle, yet fun. It was in the time that I would really come to know and appreciate what they stand for and what they believe in, which is what God wants us to reenact in the gospel. They let me feel what the Lord wants all of us to feel. And because of that sense of belonging, I knew that it was all real. I knew that they were truly there for the Lord. And it was because of them that I decided to join and to stay. Together with them, also taking up the responsibility of bringing people closer, so they may feel the same.
But when you get to feel that sense of love and happiness, you also see those who do not get to feel the same way. When you accept God’s love, you also accept His mission of bringing everyone to Him. This is something taught in the first reading, where Paul exclaims that despite all the uncertainty and possible struggles and trails, he will still push himself through all of the pain to spread the word of God.
Today, I believe that Lord wants to remind us that, in all the love and joy that we feel in our service, we have also taken up the duty to let people feel that same love we get from the Lord.
One Desire by Hillsong Worship
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Photo by: William White (@wrwhite3 at unsplash.com)