Scripture: Lectionary 300. Acts 22:30; 23:6-11. Psalm
16:1-2.5.7-8.9-10.11. John 17:20-26
Liturgical readings in the Liturgy of the Hours has a section called the
Readings for the start of the office said by the priests. Often it is
helpful for understanding what is said in the Gospel or some of the first
readings. It has a text from the Scriptures but not from the Gospels and
then commentaries on the text or ideas similar to what is found in the text
of the Reading. Today it is helpful in interpreting the passage from John
17:20-26. It is almost the response called for by us as we listen to the
compelling and challenging words of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel.
By reading I John chapter five one would be more in tune with what is said
by Jesus to us in the Gospel this day. As believers we accept what Jesus is
telling us through his most direct and intimate prayer to his Father. The
liturgical reading repeats on these days that Jesus looked up to heaven and
addressed the Father. We then have the content of his prayer shared with
us these days from chapter seventeen.
Jesus words are an invitation to believe that he and the Father are one and
that we should be confident that he wants us to be one just as he is in his
relationship to the Father. What an invitation and gift that is! We are
always led to the commandment of love for the other in the prayers of Jesus
and it is most evident in John’s Gospel which is most “ecumenical” on this
point. He wants all peoples to be one with him. The Graymore brothers and
priests have made John seventeen their charism when it comes to this part
of Jesus’ prayer: “that all may be one, as you Father are in me, and I in
you; I pray that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that you
sent me. ” (John 17:21).
Jesus is not just speaking to his apostles. This is a revelatory text that
is interpreted by the community to refer to us. Jesus invites us to believe
in him as the Apostle, the one sent, from God who will bring unity and
peace to our hearts. We pray that the peace that Jesus alone can give to
our world may come about by the witness and faith of all true and wholesome
believers. We accept Jesus as the pristine Revealer and the pure Word of
God emanating from the Father and united with the Father through the Spirit
who comes to us at Pentecost.
Jesus prays, ” Just Father, the world has not known you, but I have known
you; and these men know that you have sent me. To them I have revealed your
name, and I will continue to reveal it so that your love for me may live in
them, and I may live in them.” Jesus ends his prayer and then goes out to
the garden of Gethsemane. Amen. alleluiah.