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AS THOU DIDST SEND ME INTO THE WORLD, SO I HAVE SENT THEM INTO THE WORLD

AS THOU DIDST SEND ME INTO THE WORLD, SO I HAVE SENT THEM INTO THE WORLD

(A biblical reflection on THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER [Year B] – May 13, 2018)

Gospel Reading: John 17:11-19 

First Reading: Act 1:15-17,20-26; Psalms: Psalm 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; Second Reading: 1John 4:11-16 

The Scripture Text

And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name, which Thou hast given Me, I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. (John 17:11-19 RSV) 

The Church divides its calendar of Sunday readings into three parts called cycles, with a new cycle beginning on the first Sunday of Advent. The Church takes the cycle A Sunday Gospel readings from the Gospel according to Matthew, the cycle B Gospel readings from the Gospel according to Mark, and the cycle C Gospel readings from the Gospel according to Luke. John’s Gospel is part of all three cycles, usually appearing on special occasions such as Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Sundays during the Easter season. Most of the Sunday Gospel readings so far this year have been from the Gospel according to Mark because we are in the middle of the B cycle of readings.

One unusual feature in the Gospel according to John is that it uses the term “disciples” rather than “apostles”. Sometimes priests and ministers use these two words interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. In reality, they have very different definitions.

Jesus’ followers often addressed Him as “Rabbi”, a word that means “teacher”. The word “disciple” comes from a Greek word that means “student”. Some rabbis taught Jewish boys how to read and write in the synagogue schools, but other rabbis taught men how to be rabbis. In either case, the rabbi’s students were disciples. Therefore, John is correct when he uses this word to describe the twelve men whom Jesus chose to be His close companions because they were His students, training to become rabbis.

The word “apostle” comes from a Greek word that means “one who is sent”, and it refers to someone who is sent out to deliver a message. Matthew, Mark, and Luke call the twelve men whom Jesus chose to be His close companions “apostles” because Jesus sent them out to proclaim the Gospel message after He taught them privately. In other words, they were disciples or students first and were apostles after they successfully completed their period of instruction.

It is interesting that we do not find the word “apostle” in the Gospel according to John. The closest John comes to using this word is in today’s reading when Jesus, in His prayer to His heavenly Father, says He “sent” the Twelve out into the world. For John, the true follower of Jesus never stops being a disciple but is always willing to learn more about Jesus and His message.

What kind of disciples are you? How much time do you spend reading and studying Scripture so Jesus can use you as his apostle in the world today?

Source: Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 158-159.)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, send forth Your Spirit to make us loyal disciples of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, so that He can send us out to preach the Good News to the people we meet. Amen. 

Jakarta, 11 May 2018 

A Christian Pilgrim  

 

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FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE – 28 OCTOBER

Ss_Simon_and_Jude

All Christians today trace our faith back to those first disciples – such as Saint Simon and Saint Jude – who were willing to leave everything familiar to share the good news with strangers. Today’s feast reminds us to pray for modern-day apostles who leave home and family and risk their lives to bring the love of Jesus to those still waiting to hear about Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, may those who leave home and family and risk all for the Gospel be supported by Your Spirit in the difficult task of bringing Your good news to an often hostile world. Amen.

Jakarta, 28 October 2015

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2015 in SAINTS WE LOVE

 

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IT IS THE WORLD THAT IS CONDEMNED [JOHN 16:5-11]

IT IS THE WORLD THAT IS CONDEMNED [JOHN 16:5-11]

ROH KUDUS SEDANG LANDINGAs Jesus kept talking during the Last Supper to His apostles about leaving this world, He noticed that they were overcome by grief. They just didn’t seem to understand why He must go. He told them the sober truth. If He didn’t go, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, would not come to them. He would go and send the Holy Spirit to them. What would the Holy Spirit do when He came? He would be their counselor, their consoler. He would guide them in their relationship, in their encounter with the world.

The Holy Spirit will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation. He will show by the divine, just and holy life of the Church which He will guide, that Christ was sinless, that He was just, that He did not deserve condemnation. Those who refuse to believe in Him, to obey His commands, are the guilty ones. They are the unjust. They are the ones who stand condemned.

Which side are we (you and I) on? Are we truly sharers in that divine life by our faith, our obedience, our love? Are we among the just of Christ, the righteous? Do our lives bear witness to the holiness of Christ whose members we are?

We have received the Holy Spirit just as the apostles did. He is our advocate too. He is our guide and our consoler. He gives us instructions, guidance and the strength, the courage it takes to live with Christ, with His Church. We need not suffer condemnation. It is the world that is condemned every time we witness to Christ as Lord in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jakarta, 28 May 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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