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FIRST READING    Acts 10:34-48

EPISTLE                   1 John 5:1-8

HOLY GOSPEL                   John 15:9-17

The Lord Jesus Is with His Church in the Apostolic Ministry of the Gospel

The crucified and risen Lord Jesus is with His Church through the word of His Apostles, who “are witnesses of all that He did.” He was anointed by God “with the Holy Spirit and with power” and “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” and so He was with those whom He sent “to preach to the people” (Acts 10:38–42). The Holy Spirit is bestowed on those who hear that apostolic preaching, who are “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” so that “everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43–44, 48). For as He came by the water of His Baptism, even to the blood of His Passion, so the Spirit testifies to the truth with “the water and the blood” in the apostolic ministry of the Gospel (1 John 5:6–7). By these means, Christ Jesus speaks to us, that His joy may be in us and that our “joy may be full.” For this purpose He appointed the Apostles to “go and bear fruit,” in order to make known His divine friendship to us (John 15:11, 15–16).

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Palm Sunday

The Son of David Ascends His Throne and Reigns in Love from His Cross

The Son of David comes in gentle humility, “sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet as the King of Israel “in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13–15). He comes to be lifted up in glory on the Cross in order to cast out “the ruler of this world” and draw all people to Himself (John 12:23–32). The Church is thus called to “rejoice greatly,” because her King comes with salvation, and “He shall speak peace to the nations” (Zech. 9:9–10). The glory of God is Love which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners. So God the Father has “highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His Cross.

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