RSS

Tag Archives: THE PRAYER OF JESUS FOR UNITY

JOHN 17:24 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26)

Jakarta, 2 June 2022

A Christian Pilgrim

 

Tags: , , , ,

JOHN 17:25 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26)

Jakarta, 29 May 2022 [7th SUNDAY OF EASTER – YEAR C]

A Christian Pilgrim

 

Tags: , , , ,

JESUS PRAYS THAT HIS FOLLOWERS WILL ALWAYS BE UNITED

JESUS PRAYS THAT HIS FOLLOWERS WILL ALWAYS BE UNITED

(A biblical refection on THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR C]  –  2 June 2019)

Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26 

First Reading: Acts 7:55-60; Psalms: Ps 97:1-2,6-7,9; Second Reading: Rev 22:12-14,16-17,20 

The Scripture Text

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may  be one even as We are one, I in them and Thou in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast has given Me, may be with Me where I am, to behold My glory which Thou hast given Me in Thy love for Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee; and these know that Thou hast Me. I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26 RSV)  

When you love someone, you want to be with and share your life with that person. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that He loves us so much He wants to share His own divine life with us. He wants to be part of our lives and wants us to be part of His. This is what makes our God different from the other gods of the religions of the world. From the beginning of time, there haven’t been many other religions able to claim that their god wanted to establish a close and loving relationship with human beings. Most other religions stressed the strength of their gods. Only Jews, Christians, and Moslems worship a God who is both powerful and loving.

We can compare the close relationship between God and His people to the loving relationship between a husband and wife. Many times, the Old Testament portrays God as a bridegroom and the Jewish people as His beautiful bride. The books of Hosea and the Song of Songs both rely heavily on this imagery.

The New Testament continues this theme, telling us that Jesus spoke of Himself as a bridegroom (e.g., Matthew 25:1-13) and sometimes described the Kingdom of God as a fantastic wedding celebration open to all who believe in Him (e.g., Luke 12:35-40).

Even the way we divide the Bible into two testaments reminds us of God’s desire to establish a deeply loving relationship with us. A “testament” is a covenant or agreement in which both parties choose to share their lives with each other in a relationship based on love. Thus, the Old Testament is about the close and loving relationship between God and the Jewish people. (We might be more accurate if we call it the Older Testament because this relationship has not ended but continues to this day.) The New Testament (or Newer Testament) is about the close land loving relationship between God and the followers of Jesus, the Church.

The part of today’s Gospel reading that should challenge all Christians is the part in which Jesus prays that His followers will always be united. Apparently, this prayer has not been answered because today the Church is divided into Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Methodist, Presbyterians, and dozens of other denominations. Not only are the divisions according to ideologies but sometimes along racial and ethnic lines as well. In the United States, some Christian churches are exclusively for Black people, others are only for White people, and others are for any nationality under the sun. These ideological, racial, and ethic differences make Sunday the most segregated day of the week. We are a long way from the ideal Jesus prayed for.

(Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 270-271.)

Prayer: Almighty, ever-living God, we pray for Christian unity. We also pray that we will one day be able to put aside our ideological, ethnic, and racial differences and worship You – our God – together. Just as love binds Jesus and You as His heavenly Father, we, as Christians, must let love bind us together. Raise us up as witnesses to the world, inviting everyone to discover Your transforming love available through Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 May 2019 

A Christian Pilgrim

 

Tags: , , , ,

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  

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A LOVE THAT NEVER FAILS

A LOVE THAT NEVER FAILS

(A biblical refection on THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – May 12, 2013) 

Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26 

First Reading: Acts 7:55-60; Psalms: Ps 97:1-2,6-7,9; Second Reading: Rev 22:12-14,16-17,20 

YESUS MENDOAKAN PARA MURIDThe Scripture Text

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may  be one even as We are one, I in them and Thou in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast has given Me, may be with Me where I am, to behold My glory which Thou hast given Me in Thy love for Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee; and these know that Thou hast Me. I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jn 17:20-26 RSV) 

Who could have imagined such love? Knowing He must soon die a terrible death, Jesus asked His Father to pour out on us the love of the Holy Spirit, the very love God Himself had for Jesus from all eternity. “I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn 17:26). It is both astounding and humbling, to think that there is no distinction at all in God’s love.

Think for a moment about how deeply God loves His Son. It was out of love for Him that God determined to present all creation to Jesus: “… all things were created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). God so loved Him that at Jesus’ baptism He joyfully declared before all, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17).

TIGA SALIB DI KALVARI - 100Jesus knew His Father’s love intimately, and it was this love that motivated His every action while He was with us: “… the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing; for whatever He does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all that He Himself is doing” (Jn 5:19-20). Jesus was so filled with the Father’s love that He was able to embrace all the cruelty and agony of the cross to win our salvation.

By the power of this cross, Jesus has crucified our fallen nature and freed us to be filled with the same love of God that He Himself experiences. This is a passionate love, powerful enough to soften the hardest of hearts and transform all of us into a people who love as deeply as God loves. This is an all-inclusive love, capable of breaking down every barrier of suspicion, resentment, and fear that keeps us separated from each other. This is a love that never fails, for the Father is always looking upon us in love, wanting only to bless and strengthen us as we turn to Him.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, in these days before Pentecost, fill everyone with an experience of God’s great love. Free us from fear and selfishness and replace it with the love of the Trinity, so that we can be one with God and one with all our sisters and brothers. Raise us up as witnesses to the world, inviting everyone to discover God’s transforming love available through Christ our Savior. Amen. 

Jakarta, May 11, 2013 

A Christian Pilgrim

 

Tags: , , ,