Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Easter

John 3:16-21

Discourse with Nicodemus

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

I remember this gospel reading as the theme of the World Youth Day held in the Philippines. “For God so loved the world; he gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ, Our Savior, His most precious One. He has sent us His message of love to bring the message to everyone in a voice loud and clear.”

It seems that sometimes hat voice does not sound ‘loud and clear.” Life is often difficult, especially for those who are barely surviving. I remember my cousin whose husband became sick of cancer. She was jobless and had two children. She felt hopeless and even thought of giving up her life.

Even as there was nothing much I could do, I felt called to be with her, stay close and assure her of my prayers, encouraging her to believe in God’s love, no matter what.

The gospel today assures us that God loved us so much as to give up His only Son. And it was this Son who died to tell us: “I love you… even unto death.”

How can we make this message concrete to people around us, especially those who despair of life? (Sr. Cynthia, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)

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There is a true story about a heroic father named John Griffith. In 1937 he worked in Minnesota as an operator of drawbridge, a bridge that can be raised, lowered or drawn aside. For a ship to pass through John had to raise the bridge; for a train to go through, he had to lower it to ground level. One day when he went to work, he brought along his eight-year-old son. The boy enjoyed playing around the father’s workplace. Then John saw a ship coming. Immediately, he raised the bridge to let the ship pass through. Suddenly he realized that his son was not by his side. He frantically looked for him. Finally he saw the boy climbing the gears of the bridge! He felt a chill run through his body. He hurried to rescue his son but just then, he heard the hooting of an approaching train. He was caught in a dilemma! If he took time to rescue his son, the fast-running train would crash, killing all 400 passengers aboard; if he lowered the bridge, he would sacrifice his son. He made a horrible decision: he pulled the lever of the bridge! The train went by with the passengers unaware what a great sacrifice John had made for their behalf.

Love does not count the cost. One who truly loves gives the best he/she can offer. God sacrificed His Son, His only Son, to die on the cross so that He may open up for us undeserving sinners the door to eternal life. God did not make a frantic decision, as John Griffith did; He deliberately planned to send Jesus, His beloved Son, so that we who have been lost to sin may find our way back to Him, our Father to whom we belong. Yes, we are sinners but tremendously loved! How can we respond to such an unconditional love? Today God invites us to live in the light by striving to love others the way He loves us. (Sr. Vilma Puzon, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Comfortably enjoying a snack at a fastfood joint, I could not help but notice a couple, definitely foreigners, who were seated just across my table. They were noticeably in a hurry as they kept looking at their watches and out at the glass panels of the room. True enough, after a beep from their cell phones, they rushed out of the place leaving their burgers half-finished. It seemed I was not the only one amused at their frantic departure for immediately after they left, two children who were begging outside immediately rushed in and grabbed the unfinished burgers…much to the dismay of the security guard. This scene made me quite angry; hoe can innocent children such as these suffer the plight of feasting on leftovers? To feed on someone else’s unfinished meal is indeed unthinkable, loathsome, unacceptable, dehumanizing…but then again such is not always the case. Have I not done the same when my elder sister could not finish her own burger? Haven’t we, as six brothers and sisters in the family, enjoyed moments when we gobbled ice cream using the same spoon? Yet, what makes these two instances of finishing unfinished food so different? Well, in the first instance, what occurs is an occasion of necessity, of non-affiliation between the foreigners and the street children, probably an act of pity but not of love. The sharing of ice cream among us, sisters and brothers, however is a family affair…of laughter, love and natural acceptance.

Sometimes, it is unthinkable for us to realize the words: “God so loved the world that he gave us His only Son.” How can a foreigner attempt such humility and heroic act? Unthinkable at first but if we only understand that God never regards us as children needing half-finished burgers, if we only realize that when God comes to us, he treats us as His very own children wanting to share ice cream with Him, then His love may not be so unthinkable after all. (Frt. Anthony Ynzon, SV D Bible Diary 2006)

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“I will never fall in love again, never…” This is the usual expression of those who have been into a series of failed relationships. Humanly speaking, our drive to love sometimes loses steam when it is not compensated by love. However, this is not true with the love of the Father.

Today Jesus testifies to the love of the Father, a love expressed in His (Jesus) crucifixion, death on the cross and resurrection.

In taking up Spanish classes here in Nicaragua, before going full time into mission work. One time, before our class began, I had the chance to talk with a classmate from Europe. I asked him which religion he belongs to. He told me that he has no religion. “That is only for the elderly,” he commented.  His answer creates the impression that Christ is only for the elderly. This impression seems to be also true in the Philippines. Young people hardly go to Church on Sundays. God has become the least among our priorities until we lose sight of Him.

Everyday God experiences a series of failed relationships on account of our unfaithfulness but in God’s steadfast love he will never say: “I will never fall in love again.” But please, don’t wait until you’re old to realize God’s love! (Fr. Semei rebayla, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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John 3:16 is probably the most quoted biblical text in the entire Bible. It is so famous that even businesses print it in their products. In N-Out-Burger chain in USA prints it on the inside of the bottom rim of their paper cups. Another US-based clothing chain Forever 21 and heritage 1981 print it on the bottom of their shopping bags.

It has been called the Bible in the Nutshell. “For us Christians, John 3:16 is the summary of our Christian faith. Truly, God so loved us that He gave His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! In this act of giving, there is a corresponding act of saving. To be saved means to gain eternal life. Accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and becoming witnesses through our actions is a sure way to eternal life. By doing so, we will enjoy the light and will practice the truth.

Many things had been written about the priest-healer Fr. Fernando Suarez, CC especially on how God is using him to cure human sicknesses and maladies. When asked how he developed his gift of healing, his answer was when he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior! He developed a very deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For Fr. Suarez, it is the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist who heals. No wonder,, on many occasions the blind were able to see, the deaf were able to hear, the lame walked and cancer cells disappeared.

Yes for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son and whoever has a deep personal relationship with Him will not only have eternal but will become God’s instrument to heal and to lead others to experience God’s salvation here on earth! (Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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A noted doctor has listed several emotions that may cause disease in human beings – fear, frustrations, rage, resentment, hatred, envy and jealousy. He says the only antidote that can save people from being destroyed by these powerful forces is LOVE.

Love does not only beget love but also life. And the gospel of today attests to this, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.”

Unfortunately, this love that we experience from the Father is abused and misused in our society today. There is so much gain without pain, there is so much presence without care and there is so much promise without fulfilment. In this world of imperfections, all we need is a perfect love.

According to John Haggai, perfect love is…

  • Slow to suspect – quick to trust
  • Slow to condemn – quick to justify
  • Slow to offend – quick to defend
  • Slow to expose – quick to shield
  • Slow to reprimand – quick to forebear
  • Slow to demand – quick to give
  • Slow to provoke – quick to conciliate
  • Slow to hinder – quick to help
  • Slow to resent – quick to forgive

He added, “We can give without loving but we cannot love without giving.”

God did not give His Son as a surplus. In fact, He gave His total self to us all both the worthy and the unworthy that we may have life and live it to the full. (Fr. Andy B. Guban, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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The first verse in today’s gospel reminds me of the tattoo marked on the breast of an inmate: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” Curiosity triggered me to ask why he chose that particular passage? And his answer was Gratitude.  Though each one of us has his own measure of gratitude, that inmate tried to simplify the issue by thanking God the Father for giving His Son Jesus Christ. According to him, he decided to have the passage indelibly marked after the recollection that changed his outlook and understanding of generosity. God is so generous after all, he said.

When I was a kid I heard many times from my parents that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) because generosity pays. When was the last we gave something that hurt heart and pocket?  Generosity here is not limited to material things.  God gave His only Son, his ultimate gift for all of us. His son is a gift that reconciles humanity from misunderstanding, jealousy and selfishness. This is the kind of giving that innocent children used to learn and practice. Amy we keep dearly the gift of the Father – Jesus Christ – in our hearts for his presence sparks new life in us ( Fr. Ganie Ehido, Bible Diary 2012)

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April 6, 2016 Wednesday

Once, in a Mass celebrated with a charismatic group in Quezon City, I asked an elderly lady this question, “What is your favorite gospel passage?” Without hesitation, she quoted John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not die but have everlasting life.” Amazed, I uttered, “Wow, it’s superb, it’s wonderful.”

In my reflection, I asked myself, “How can I return the goodness of God to me?”

Two weeks ago we remembered and celebrated how this Jesus willingly offered himself for our sake, redeeming us from our sins and giving us again a new life and a new hope. God is so good that he himself does the first move even though we have turned our back to him by our hard heartedness and disobedience to His will. In this season of Easter let us ask the Lord to grant us graces to imitate his life, his kindness and his mercy. That we may be able to live according to his will. Let his mind be our mind that we may not think selfishly; rather that, in charity, we off er ourselves in the service of our least brothers and sisters.

Let us come to the light of the Lord and live in his truth for we cannot do anything without him.

Let us start today a new life in Christ so that way we can return the goodness of the Lord to us (Fr. Melencio “Jun” Balay, SVD | CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/573-april-6-2016-wednesday

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HE IS TOO GOOD FOR ME: Have you even asked yourself, “Why are there some people we seem to hate naturally?”

These are people who do no wrong to us, who have not crossed us, or who by themselves are not shameful but who somehow irritate us or bring us to anger just by their mere presence.

There are countless reasons why people are like that. But I want to present a proposition that might also answer the other questions.

You see, some of us dislike seeing other people because these other people remind us that they are too good and we are not. That is the same with the Lord Jesus.

Why? He came as love. He came to bring life. And yet He was hated not because of what He had done but because every time He spoke, every time He did something, He confronted people with the fact that Jesus Christ’s too good and His goodness reminded them of how bad they were.

Long before the time of the Lord Jesus, the Greek philosopher Socrates was confronted by a Greek student who told him: “Master I don’t like to see you! Because each time I see you I am reminded of how bad I am.”

Isn’t that the same with us? We dislike people not because they have done something wrong to us.  We dislike people because seeing them we are reminded of our own imperfections.

Not so long ago, there was a movie star who was interviewed. And she says, “I am angry with the girlfriend of Robin Padilla because each time I see her, I am reminded that my skin is not as good as hers.”

You can come across people like that, who will be angry with you to the moon. But they are angry not because the other person has done something but because this person confronts them with their own imperfections.

Look at yourself and ask yourself, “Who are the people I don’t like?”

And then ask yourself, “Could it be because these people confront me with my own imperfection? Could it be because seeing these people reminds me that I am ugly? They remind me that I am not holy. They remind me that I am not perfect.”

But there is no reason to get angry at people who are like that. There is no reason. Because there is no reason either to condemn the Lord because He is to good.

Ask yourself, “Who are the people I don’t like?”

Could it be because they confront me with my own imperfections? (Socrates Villegas, DD Only Jesus Always Jesus, pp. 21-22)

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My Reflection for April 30, Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter John 3:16-21 – Reflection: Can we measure God’s love for us? No we cannot, God loves us infinitely that He even willingly gave His only begotten son so that we may live. How about us can God measure our love for Him? Of course! If God’s love for us is infinite, our love for God is finite it has boundaries. It only extends up to a certain point, once that point is reached our love for God starts to decline also.

But why do we limit our love for God? Why can’t we love God as He loves us? This is for the reason that we are afraid to lose our earthly liberty for God. To love God infinitely is to follow the teachings of God without any preconditions.

However, the paradox of infinitely loving God is we also have to begin to hate some of the things that this world offers us. Number one on the list that we must hate from this world is sin. Number two is our very high regard for ourselves for we always want to be above everyone else. We often look down on those whom we perceive to be inferior and weak. These are but a few of the things that prevent us from loving God infinitely.

Come to think of it, if God loves us infinitely then we must be prepared to do the same. We must reciprocate God’s love for us by loving those who are difficult to love such as those who’ve hurt us badly. Loving them means forgiving them of the many hurts that they’ve carved in our lives.

Are we prepared to reciprocate God’s infinite love for us?   (Marino J. Dasmarinas)

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-reflection-for-april-30-wednesday-of.html

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Reflection for April 6, Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter; John 3:16-21

Reflection: Can we measure God’s love for us? No we cannot. God loves us infinitely that He even gave His only begotten son so that we may live. How about us can God measure our love for Him? Of course! If God’s love for us is infinite, our love for God is finite it has boundaries. It only extends up to a certain point, once that point is reached our love for God starts to decline also.

But why do we limit our love for God? Why can’t we love God as He loves us? This is for the reason that we are afraid to lose our earthly liberty for God. To love God infinitely is to follow the teachings of God without any preconditions.

However, the paradox of infinitely loving God is we also have to begin to hate some of the things that this world offers us. Number one on the list that we must hate from this world is sin. Number two is our very high regard for ourselves for we always want to be above everyone else. We often look down on those whom we perceive to be inferior, weak and those not in our level. These are but a few of the things that prevent us from loving God infinitely.

Come to think of it, if God loves us infinitely then we must be prepared to do the same. We must reciprocate God’s love for us by loving those who are difficult to love such as those who’ve hurt us badly. Loving them means forgiving them of the many hurts that they’ve carved in our lives.

Are you prepared to reciprocate God’s infinite love for you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/04/reflection-for-april-6-wednesday-of.html

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GOD’S LOVE: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” – John 3:16

This particular line has always been one of my favorites among the hundreds of biblical passages that I’ve read in my lifetime. It’s very consoling, especially during moments of loneliness and bereavement.

I remember back in 1986 when my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach. As soon as I knew about it, I surrendered him totally to the Lord.

Losing someone you dearly love is beyond description. When I was a kid, one of my greatest fears was losing my dad. But as I grew older, I came to realize and understand the fact that death is indeed a part of life, that there’s an end to every beginning, that nothing in this world lasts forever. I realized that no matter how much we love a person, we will have to part ways someday.

At my dad’s wake, amidst those wreaths and beautiful flower arrangements, one thing stood out. It was this consoling message placed beside his coffin: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son….” Dr. Henry L. Yu (henrio_md@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Everything in this world ends except God’s love. It is the greatest love of all. God’s love is eternal.

Father, when death comes in the family, remind us of Your love for us when You gave Your one and only Son. Console us in our grief.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-30

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1ST READING: Would you be willing to go to jail for the sake of the Gospel? I hope so! However, there are some things that we can never really know until we are faced with them. The Apostles are not willing to compromise their faith and, thus, are jailed for proclaiming the Gospel. Let us pray for the grace to follow their example. Acts 5:17-26

GOSPEL: This is an important text as it reminds us that God is always motivated by love, not revenge or impartial judgment. Knowing this gives us great hope as it removes the temptation to despair if we accept it as true. If God only desires to love us, then we can be sure of His forgiveness and of His provision for all that we need to be faithful to His will. John 3:16-21

think:  God is always motivated by love, not revenge or impartial judgment.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-30

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FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD: The 10th World Youth Day that happened in Manila with the memorable presence of Blessed Pope John Paul II surely did much to make the opening lines of today’s Gospel very familiar. I bet many of us can sing until now the World Youth Day theme song. Some can probably even recall the hand gestures that go with the words. But, just thinking, how many really can understand the importance, meaning and implications of the words?

Scholars and spiritual writers like Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Franciscan papal confessor, suggest that it would help us a lot to understand what Jesus was saying if we can just go back and read Genesis 22:1-19. In testing the depth of Abraham’s faith, God asked him to go up Mount Moriah to sacrifice his much-awaited son of promise, Isaac, in a usual bloody human offering. We note Abraham’s prompt response. Early the next morning he went up the mountain without hesitation, with the unsuspecting Isaac carrying the wood that would be used to burn him as a human offering. But we can almost feel the inner tension inside Abraham as we reflect on his way of answering the questions of Isaac. The conversation of father and son was terse. The important thing was to prove his faith in God. Abraham was willing to sacrifice all — even his feelings — for God’s demand to be fulfilled.

God’s great love — love that is not so so, but love that is so much — underwent similar tension. God sent Jesus with all the willingness to let Him do all for our salvation, even if God the Father knew well what this sending meant. It meant the sacrifice of dying on the cross for us. A big difference in the story: Abraham’s son, Isaac, was spared; Jesus was not. God the Father did not spare His one and only Son for us. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTION: How can you show that you value God’s sacrifice for your sake?

When tests of faith come into my life, help me to respond to them with all of me, Lord.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-30

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THERE IS NO CATHOLIC GOD – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17

In an interview with Eugenio Scalfari for the magazine La Republicca, Pope Francis declared: “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God. There is no Catholic God. There is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, His incarnation. Jesus is my Teacher and my Pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the Light and the Creator.”

It created a furor. What did the Holy Father mean? In the same interview, he also said, “Our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people. Help the old. Be open to the future. Spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.”

His message is clear. Jesus did not come to divide but to unite us as sons and daughters of one Abba, our Father in heaven. Let us seek our non-Catholic brothers, and through us, may they feel the love of the Father. Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)

Pope Francis Says: “The sonship of Jesus is not revealed so as to emphasize an insurmountable separation between Jesus and everyone else; rather, it is revealed to tell us that in Him, we are all called to be children in the one Father and so brothers and sisters to one another.”

Lord Jesus, help us to cultivate peace by rejecting a culture of exclusion and embracing a culture of encounter.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-04-06

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WEDNESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF EASTER (YEAR B) – JUAN 3:16-21. UNSA MAY MAS MASAYON – ANG PAGLUWAS O ANG PAGKONDENA OG TAWO? Ang pagkondena dali ra nga buhaton. Bungolan, libakon, ug panghimaraoton lang nato ang tawo, human dayon ang estorya. Apan ang pagluwas dugay ug malisod nga himoon. Kinahanglan ka nga magsakripisyo, magpasensya, magpasaylo, ug maghatag og giya sa usa ka tawo. Si Hesus miingon, “Wala ipadala sa Dios ang Iyang Anak nganhi sa kalibotan aron pagsilot kondili aron pagluwas.” Ang Ginoo nagpili sa malisod nga paagi. Nagmapailobon ug nagmapasayloon siya. Naghalad siya sa kinabuhi sa iyang Anak aron maluwas kitang mga makasasala. Nindot kining pahinumdum: “When you’re tempted to lose patience with someone, think how patient God has been with you all the time.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/04/wednesday-of-2nd-week-of-easter-year-b.html

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Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Wednesday, April 6

Acts 5: 17- 26; Jn 3, 16-21

Preferring Darkness to Light

The first verse (Jn 3, 16) of today’s gospel is perhaps the most famous of all biblical statements.  We find it on bumper stickers, on barn roofs, on T shirts.  This sentence should send a chill through any person’s heart.

Yes, God so loved the world that he sent his son, Jesus.  Jesus is our gift from God, the way the truth and the light.  The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to the light, says the gospel.  How could anyone be so foolish?

Charles Dickens tells us the story of a cobbler who was imprisoned for some crime he committed, but he was allowed to do his cobbler work in his dark cell.  In some dim light he kept doing his work for 20 long years and finally he was released.  Out of the prison, he couldn’t adjust himself to the bright, blazing, sun. So he built for himself a dark dungeon, sat in it and continued his work!  This cobbler may look strange to us, but many of us today are like him, preferring darkness to light.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen used to say that in olden days Catholics believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, but today every one thinks that he or she is immaculately conceived!  We have lost the sense of sin, and we are in darkness.  John says that people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil.  Evil works cannot stand scrutiny in the light.  Everyone who does wicked things hates the light. These are strong words, but we have certainly seen the effects of a misguided secrecy that keeps evil under cover of darkness.  Only one willing to tell the truth can stand in the light.

May be, we all need the prayer the Indian sages said centuries ago:  “Lord, lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light and from death to immortality.” Rev. Jose Kariamadam CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-04-6

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April 06, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s gospel reading is written in typical John-style: all the words used are extremely simple and clear (John’s entire gospel used a vocabulary of just over a thousand words—whereas Luke uses three times as many different words) and yet John succeeds in saying things of almost infinite depth and meaning.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” How could one describe God’s character in more simple words? Yet in some Protestant theologies God is presented as an angry Despot whose honor is soiled by our sins and who demands as an adequate reparation that his Son die on a cross in our place (theory of penal substitution)—and only then is he appeased. This view, inherited from a feudal society based on honor and proportionate compensation, has nothing to do with the God of Jesus, the real and only God. The God of Jesus is pure compassion for our estranged world. In a desperate attempt to save us, he sends us his Son to die for us. All he wants is to save us from death and despair. Shall we ever understand how much God loves us?

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3495-april-06-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Easter

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