05.29.2022 Seventh Week of Easter


May They Become Perfectly One

“Sharing of the Bread”

Kathlene Melvin

2019


Kathlene Melvin: “I was born in Rota, Spain in 1965 as my father was in the Navy. Born premature, at just under 4 pounds, I believe is what caused a life-long history of medical problems. I have spent most of my working time in the medical field. I love helping people. I still do and if I can help one person a day and make them feel better then I'm happy. I started painting around the age of 35.


I painted this of the homeless. A homeless man sharing the only piece of bread he has with a homeless boy. The boy tells him, ‘No, you have it, you need it too”.


Lectio

John 17: 20-26


20“My prayer is not for them alone.

I pray also for those who will believe in

me through their message,

21 that all of them may be one,

Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

May they also be in us so that the world may believe

that you have sent me.

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me,

that they may be one as we are one

23- I in them and you in me-

so that they may be brought to complete unity.

Then the world will know that you sent me

and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 ‘Father, I want those you have given me

to be with me where I am, and to see my glory,

the glory you have given me

because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 Righteous Father, though the world does not know you,

I know you, and they know that you have sent me.

26 I have made you known to them,

and will continue to make you known

in order that the love you have for me

may be in them and that I myself may be in them’”.



Meditatio

Context

In the last two Sundays we saw Jesus instructing his Disciples and preparing them to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave them a new commandment: “To love one another”[1] as a sign of true discipleship. Jesus wants to strengthen the faith of his Disciples telling them that the Father has already glorified Him[2]. Last Sunday, we saw how Jesus promised to bestow on them the Holy Spirit and bequeath to them the great gift of Peace[3]. Now, Jesus is praying to the Father for his Disciples, that they may be one, just as He and the Father are one.


Jesus prays for his disciples

When we pray, what do you ask from God: his help, blessing, guidance, and wisdom?


One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities we have been given by God is to pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well. While on earth, Jesus prayed and his prayer was characterised by his blessing and gratitude to the Father. He prayed for his Disciples, especially when they were in great need or danger.


The Gospel of Saint Mark tells us that when Jesus was praying alone on the mountain He saw that his Disciples were in great distress due to a life-threatening storm that was beating against their boat. Jesus immediately came to their rescue - walking on the waves of the rough waters before He calmed their fears and calmed the raging waters as well![4]


On the other hand, the Gospel of Luke tells us how, shortly before Jesus' arrest and Peter's denial, Jesus told three times to Simon Peter. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers[5].


The prayer of Jesus was personal, direct, and focused on the welfare and well-being of others -that they might find peace and unity with God and with one another.


Jesus prays for all Christians to be united as one

The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in the Gospel of John. It is called the High Priestly Prayer. Jesus made this prayer aloud at the Last Supper meal with his Disciples[6].


This prayer most clearly reveals the heart and mind of Jesus. It reveals who and what He loved most: his Father in heaven, and those who believe in him. His prayer is centered on love and unity. He desires and offers those gifts for all who would believe in him and follow him, not only in the present, but in the future as well.


The prayer of Jesus concludes with a petition for the unity among all Christians who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus prays for all men and women who will come after him and follow him as his disciples[7]. Jesus prays here for each one of us. He prays that we, Members of his Body, the Church would be one as He and his Father are one.


The unity of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, with the eternal Father is a unity of mutual love, service; honour, and a oneness of mind, heart, and spirit. The Lord Jesus calls each and every one of his followers into this unity of mutual love, respect, service, honour, and friendship with all who belong to Christ.


To make him known and loved by all

The prayer of Jesus on the eve of his Death shows the great love and trust He had for his beloved Disciples. He knew they would abandon him in his hour of trial, yet He entrusted to them the great task of spreading his name throughout the world and till the end of the ages.


The Lord Jesus entrusts us today with the same mission: To make him known and loved by all. Jesus died and rose again that all might be one as He and the Father are one. Do we love all who belong to Christ? Do we recognize and accept all baptized Christians as our brothers and sisters in Christ?


The Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, draws each one of us into the unity which He and the Father have, and into the unity He desires for all who belong to him. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of our beloved Father in heaven.


The Lord intercedes for us right now

The Lord Jesus Christ included each one of us in his High Priestly Prayer at the Last Supper with his Disciples on the eve of his sacrifice on the Cross[8]. Today the Lord Jesus holds the same High Priestly Office as our Intercessor before the throne of God in heaven.


Saint Paul the Apostle tells us that it is "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us"[9]. We are invited to join in the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. We pray that all who profess Jesus as Lord may grow in love and unity together as brothers and sisters who have been redeemed through the Precious Blood shed for us on the Cross.


Conclusion

The invitation of Jesus to be one in the love for one another is a continuous call for us, his disciples. The assurance of the intercession of Jesus before the Father for all those who believe in him should be translated into a reality working for unity within our Christian Communities, and in the Church at large.


The example of Jesus always in communion with the Father helps us to seize the importance of prayer in our daily commitments. The unity and love we have for God and for our brethren will be the beautiful fruit of our prayers and of the intercession of Jesus for us.


ORATIO

“Heavenly Father, have mercy on all your people

who have been redeemed by the precious blood of your Son

who offered up his life for us on the cross.

Pardon our sins and heal our divisions

that we may grow in love, unity, and holiness

together as your sons and daughters.


May all Christian people throughout the world

attain the unity for which Jesus

prayed on the eve of his sacrifice.

Renew in us the power of the Holy Spirit

that we may be a sign of that unity

and a means of its growth.

Increase in us a fervent love, respect, and

care for all of our brothers and sisters who believe in Jesus Christ.”


Psalm 97

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice;

let the many coast lands be glad!

Clouds and thick darkness are round about him;

righteousness and justice are

the foundation of his throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

and all the peoples behold his glory.

For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;

you are exalted far above all gods.”


CONTEMPLATIO

· Jesus prays to the Father for his Disciples that they may be as one as He and the Father are one.

o We know that the Father’s love for us is clear and compelling – He sent his only

Son to die for us. Can we imagine such love for another?

o Do we think we could be capable of loving not just one, but everyone to this

extent?

o Do we find solace in the love of God?

· Jesus lived a life of prayer for the benefit of others:

o Do we find it easy to do the same? Is it easier to pray for some rather than

others?

o Can we find prayer as a step towards forgiveness of those who have hurt us or

let us down?

o How can we pray meaningfully for those suffering from hunger, conflict and

illness in so many parts of the world, those who may need our prayers the most?

· Jesus prays that we will enter into a unity with each other such as that he enjoys with the Father:

o Do we find such unity a goal to which we aspire?

o Maybe we find it more comfortable to aspire to a personal relationship with

God, rather than one of mutual love and service?

o How do we learn to live our lives in the way that God asks of us ?

· Jesus asks of us to be His disciples to make Him known to and loved by all ?

o Have we accepted our responsibilities as disciples?

o Who do we think of when we think of “all”.

o Do we pray for and support Christian unity?

o How do we apply our view of “all” in relation to other faiths?

 

[1] John 13: 34: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” [2] John 13: 31: “When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him”. [3] John 14: 26-27: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. [4] Mark 6: 46-51 [5] Luke 22: 32 [6] John 17: 23: “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one…” [7] John 17: 20 [8] John 17: 20 [9] Romans 8:34

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