4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 4:8-12; Ps 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18 ~ face to face

Fourth Sunday of Easter

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

I am the shepherd of the flock; I am the way, the truth and the life; I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, alleluia.
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God of lasting love, fulfill your plan of salvation to gather into one fold the peoples of the whole world. Let everyone on earth recognize your Christ as the Good Shepherd, who freely lays down his life for all to take it up again in power. Grant this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 4:8-12 (NLT)

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
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It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
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cornerstone

I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
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Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
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You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 John 3:1-2 (NLT)

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 10:11-18  (NLT)

"I am the Good Shepherd" Lee Hodges
“I am the Good Shepherd”
Lee Hodges

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
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Intercessions:

Good Shepherd: Your love for us has no end. Hear the prayers we offer – for our needs and the needs of the whole world.

+ For all those who serve and lead Your church – that they may follow the example of Christ, the good shepherd…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all of Your people – that we may love each other with tenderness and forgiveness…. Lord, hear us.
+ For young people deciding how they will spend their lives – that they may consider serving God’s people…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who care for others – that the Lord’s compassion may be visible in them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For farmers, shepherds and those who work on the land – that they may show respect for all of God’s creation…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who call on the name of the Lord Jesus in their sufferings – that they may experience His healing power…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have gone before us in faith – that they may see God, face to face…. Lord, hear us.

God of beauty and compassion, You love us as a shepherd loves all the flock: continue to support Your people with Your grace, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 7:12)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

The 10th Day of Christmas: 03 Jan – 1 John 2:29–3:6; John 1:29-34 ~ the Lamb of God

The 10th Day of Christmas

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences:

The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him, he gave power to become the children of God.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.

A Reading from Letters: 1 John 2:29–3:6 (NLT)

Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

A Reading from the Gospels: John 1:29-34 (NLT)

Jesus is being identified by John the Baptist as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world", in John 1:29. 17th century Ottavio Vannini (1585-c. 1643) La chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Becocci Editore, Firenze
Jesus is being identified by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”, in John 1:29.
Ottavio Vannini (1585-c. 1643)
La chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Becocci Editore, Firenze

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen