Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 17,1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours,
and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.”
Lies, Life, and Love
1) LIES-Once a year, on the most holy day of the year, the Jews gather to celebrate what they call Yom Kippur. Kippur literally means to cover, and the idea is that God’s love is called upon to cleanse and cover over all the sins of Israel. Also called the day of atonement, the Jews use this time to look deeply within their hearts, and search their souls in truth and repent of their sins. In order to restore their relationship with God, they humble themselves and admit their transgressions against the covenant. It is thus a time of conversion, of turning away from the past lies and of letting go of any hinderances or attachments in order to return to God. At this time the High priest offers a sacrificial goat and then in the temple, pronounces the unutterable name of God, the only time during the whole year it is allowed. The prayer that we hear Jesus pray today is structured in the same form as the prayer of the high priest.
2) LIFE- Jesus prays to the Father to ask for Glory so that He may glorify the Father by giving eternal life to His people. Eternal life is knowing intimately the Father through a deep personal loving relationship. In this way eternal life is not something we enter into when we die but rather is open for us to experience in the here and now. It is true life, real life, the indestructible life, the reason why Jesus says whoever believes in Him shall never die. Knowing God in the Biblical sense means becoming one with Him in loving communion and thus becoming fully alive. That is precisely why the early Christians were called “the living”. They had found Him who was the way, the truth, and the Life.
3) LOVE- This true life is love. That is the good news. Jesus offers us true life, and this life is the divine love communion of the Father and the Son, which is the Holy Spirit, who is the giver of Life. We are called to imitate Mary, and opening our hearts, receive His seed of eternal life, in order for it to bear fruit in us. May our prayer be today that we are like Mary, being willing to open ourselves and allow his word of life to penetrate into the very depths of our being.
May God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Always remember heaven is our goal.