Reflection on the Gospel of John 17: 1-11: Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 21, 2023

The Gospel of John 17:1-11

Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

Let us pray: Almighty God, may our prayers ascend to you just as Jesus Christ, your son, was taken up to heaven.  As we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus let it inspire in us feelings of joy and hope rather than fear and separation as we await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Amen

The journey through the season of Easter in the lectionary almost seems backward but, The Season of Easter gives us the opportunity to look at the events leading up to Easter Day after the Resurrection occurred. It allows us to examine and have a better understanding of what and why things occurred that lead up to the crucifixion of Jesus. It gives us a chance to see things from the perspective of the first disciples who were both still reeling from the extraordinary moments they experienced and were charged to move forward as the stewards of the gospel.       In this Gospel Jesus prays for His Disciples whom He has chosen. He considers them as gifts from the Father. These chosen people are in the world, but they no longer belong to the world but to the Father. He taught them what they needed to learn and has given them their mission. He knew what difficulties they were to encounter as they went about their mission. So, Jesus Himself entrusted them to God the Father almighty. Jesus here distinguishes between “the world” and his own followers.  For the moment, he has only the followers in mind.  He’s praying for believers, not for the rest of the world. When Jesus met with His disciples for the last time, he told them the work His Father had given Him was finished. His work was finished for his part because the completion of this mission would present the gift of eternal life to all flesh, and glory to the Father and the Son. Jesus Glorified His disciples as the chosen ones sent to Him by God. Today Jesus glorifies all of us as having been sent by God. By His glorification we have gained eternal life if we believe and have faith in Him. Today our world needs that glorification, that feeling we are being guided. That we are part of the mission of Jesus and even though he finished his work with the disciples He has not finished his work with each of us. There is a plan for each of us, we may not always like the plan, but it is God’s plan. These words of Jesus: “As you have sent me into the world so I have sent them into the world”: are part of the plan of God that we should go into the world and make disciples of all the world’s people. Jesus continually prays for us, those who gather in His name are His Church. Jesus makes it clear that His Church will be a pilgrim church, one that evangelizes and spreads the word of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that we are all responsible for the mission of the Church to make disciples of all peoples. Today we can be the Church as we can go out into the world. We are sent to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on Earth to accomplish this task. Thankfully, we have this Gospel of Jesus Christ to lift us up, and to fulfill His joy within us as we proceed.

Let us Pray: Heavenly Father, as the first Christians devoted themselves to prayer and worship following Christ’s glorious ascension, preserve us in the same until we are raised with all the saints to Your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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