Gospel Reflection: Seventh Sunday of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

MAY 28, 2017

ALLELUIA

I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.

I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice!

ALLELUIA

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint John 17: 1-11

High Priestly Prayer of Jesus

When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.  Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.  I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.  And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

In the Fifth Preface of Easter that introduces the Eucharistic Prayer of Mass, Jesus Christ is acclaimed as the Priest, the Altar and the Lamb of sacrifice.  The Preface acknowledges that Jesus Christ is The High Priest that surpasses the priesthood of Aaron of the Old Testament, and by the oblation (sacrifice) of his Body brought the sacrifices of old to fulfillment in the reality of the Cross.

Now on the night before he died on his cross, as the Last Supper drew to a close, Jesus offered a sincere and touching prayer for himself and his disciples.   Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed as the one and only high priest and mediator before God, the Most High.  As fully God and fully man, Christ both prays to God, and at the same time, along with the Father and Spirit receives the intercessory prayer.  In this way, Jesus instructs us to pray always through Him, and he assures us that our payer will receive careful attention from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This passage is not only addressed to the first disciples, but also it is a pledge to disciples of every age that Jesus Christ will continually mediate our love and needs to God.

In this prayer, Jesus asks the Father for two things: Give glory to your son … so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him …. keep them (disciples) in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.

The glory that Jesus requests from his Father is the glory that the Son of God possessed from the beginning as a member of the Holy Trinity.  The word, glory means the importance and majesty of God, and the honor that is owed God as the Creator and Redeemer.  In other words, Jesus is asking the Father to manifest before the eyes of everyone that he possesses the glory, the greatness and dignity of God, and therefore has the power to grant eternal life to all those that the Father entrusted to him!

But, what is eternal Life?  Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. From the lips of Jesus, eternal life is knowing the only true God and the one whom He sent, Jesus Christ!   To know God and His Son is not merely a mental activity:  You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22: 37).

In fact, one might argue that knowing God has more to do with the heart than the brain.   To know God is to love God with one’s whole heart, soul and mind, to desire God above all else, to crave God more than life itself. The whole person is involved in loving and knowing God!   Prayer is our daily expression of knowing and loving God.  Prayer involves not just my ideas or thoughts, but one’s whole heart.

This Sunday’s Gospel reveals to us that even now we can participate in eternal life.  By his prayer and power as God, Jesus grants us eternal life.  In turn, for us to possess eternal life we need to know God and Jesus Christ – that is we need to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN, JESUS CHRIST

Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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