May 29, 2022
John 17: 20-26
When you read or heard the Gospel for today, did you hear that in this section of the Last Discourse, Jesus was praying for us?? Yes, Jesus says “for those who will believe in me through their word.” “Their word” of course is through his disciples and all who would bring God’s word to others. Whenever, I read, pray with the Last Discourse, I realize that these words were really Jesus’ last words to me, to us. Perhaps you have been privileged to be at the bedside of a dying parent, friend, or loved one. You probably listened very carefully for the person’s last words. I know I did, especially at the death of my Dad. I will never forget his last words…
So, as we reflect on our Beloved’s last words to us, we want to take to heart more deeply what he says to us. “That they may be ONE, as You, Father and I are ONE.” Wow! To what UNITY we are called!! We are called to follow Jesus with and through others. In the hymn we sing, especially during the Church Unity Octave, we sing “… they will know we are Christians by our love.”
We remember, too, as Fr. Larry Gillick SJ, reminds us, in one of his reflections on this Gospel, that God the Father so loved us that He gave us His only begotten son! Jesus is the Father’s Gift to us-to YOU, to ME! We, in turn are the Father’s gift to Jesus!!
Jesus continues to pray “I wish that where I am they (WE) may also be with me” AND “that they may see my glory that You gave Me.” As we read in the 1st reading that Stephen, the first martyr” full of the Holy Spirit…saw the glory of God…”
We may not be called to be martyrs as Stephen was. However, we are called to the day-by-day dying to ourselves, to our own will. By this we live out our Baptism, our call to union with God in our unity with one another!
May we join Jesus’ prayer for UNION and Unity!!
John 17: 20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
The Gospel of the Lord