Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab
This is eternal life!
May I suggest that you read today’s Gospel passage before reading the rest of this reflection?
Sometimes the poetic wording of John’s Gospel can make it difficult for us to follow what Jesus is saying, or doing. To add to our difficulty, today’s gospel reading has been excerpted from a longer prayer of Jesus to-his-Father for-his-disciples. Much earlier in John’s Gospel Jesus has said: The Father and I are one (John 10:30).
He has already prayed:
I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world (John 17:6); I pray for them (John 17:9); And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. (John 17:11a).
Jesus makes three petitions:
Holy Father, keep them in your name… so that they may be one just as we are one (John 17:11b);
…keep them from the evil one (John 17:15);
…Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17). In John’s Gospel Jesus is the Word that God speaks. The word: consecrate can have the sense of “set apart” or “make holy”.
Jesus also reminds his Father of three of his own actions:
I protected them in your Name that you gave me, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled (John 17:12);
But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely (John 17:13);
And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth (John 17:19).
Jesus is praying for his followers, Us, that we might have eternal life through knowing His Father, the only true God, and Jesus, whom the Father has sent, because this is eternal life! (See John 17:3)
The time for us to respond is now!
Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., is Retreat Director of Bishop Molloy Retreat House, “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, www.bishopmolloy.org