Living the Gospel – May 16, 2021

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The Time: Thursday evening soon after the Last Supper, just hours before Jesus’ arrest.

The Place: A garden, perhaps Gethsemani? The Mt of Olives? Following the supper, Jesus said: “Get up, let us go.” But John’s Gospel does not say exactly where Jesus and His disciples went.

But it matters not. Today’s reading from John Chapter 17 is the end of Jesus’ good by message to His beloved apostles. He has told them He would be leaving them. He has instructed them with a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” He has promised to send the Advocate to instruct them in all of His ways.

Now He prays to His Father for them and for us. The reading ends today with verse 19, but verse 20 goes on: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” WE are not forgotten! Jesus prayed:

     “Keep them in your Name that you have given me.”

     “That they may be one just as we are one.”

     “That they may share my joy completely.”

     “That the Father “keep them from the evil one.”

    “That he “consecrate them in the truth.”

What He doesn’t ask is for the Father to remove them/us from the world or spare us from all bad things—trials and tribulations! He acknowledges that trials will occur—the world hated him, did not understand him and those who believe in him will not be spared either! But that He, Jesus had victory over these trials and worldly evils.

Sometimes when life hits “rough patches” and we all have them, we feel abandoned by God. We may even blame God! Ah, the opposite is true! God does not “go away.” What we need to do is to let go, acknowledge His presence and realize we cannot cope on our own!

Christ prayed that we all might be one. I think that has two meanings. One, that all Christians will someday be united in their beliefs, that our discord will cease. Secondly, I think we need to be one as human beings—not that we will all be “alike.” Far from it. We are each created to be who we are—called to be who we are, who we are meant to be. But we need to be one—praying for each other, helping each other as God’s gifts permit us to. It is through one another that God helps us through those trials and tribulations. And it is by our Christian action toward one another that our faith will spread. We will be missionaries by our behavior.

Being consecrated in the truth will give us a conscience, a value system to be what we are called to be: One with Christ and one with each other!

Linda Caminiti