That They May Be One
Easter's Seventh Sunday
Chapters 14 to 17 of Saint John's Gospel are together known as Jesus' Farewell Discourse. At the Last Supper, Jesus speaks to his disciples about what is to come in the days ahead and what he will accomplish in the Paschal Mystery of his Death and Resurrection.
Our Gospel reading this weekend is the end of Saint John's 17th chapter, which is part of Jesus'High Priestly Prayer to his Father. Having prayed that he will show forth God's glory, Jesus intercedes for his disciples and all far-off and future believers.
That's where we come in. Jesus is praying for us! Let's take a quick look at what this might mean. Jesus prays:
For Whom? Jesus prays for his Apostles and for those who will turn over their lives to him through their witness.
For What? Unity. Jesus prays that we embody the unity of the Trinity's inner life.
Why? That the world may come to entrust their lives to God.
How? By Jesus' making present to his faithful followers the love that the Father has for the Son.
To put it in more of a narrative order: Jesus gives his followers the Holy Spirit so that the Church can be his Body in the world, extending God's love to every corner of his creation.
And again, making us and our task more central: We receive the Holy Spirit so as to become the Body of Christ, embodying the knows-no-limits love of God for everyone we encounter.
This is the biggest challenge and highest calling of our lives. It's no wonder Jesus prayed for us as we give our whole lives to this task!
In the Peace of our Risen Lord,
δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ