Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

dali last supper.jpg

 

John 17:11-19

"Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said …"

In today's reading from the Gospel we hear Jesus at prayer on the night before his death. It is a prayer for his immediate disciples, gathered with him at the Last Supper, and beyond, for us his disciples today. He was sending them into the world to continue his mission and ministry, just as he now sends us. These are the things he prayed for.

"keep them true to your name" - He does not ask that we should be powerful, successful or world-conquering; simply that we remain faithful to what we have received.

"may they be one like us" - That we may be united in that same love which binds the Father and the Son is a frequent prayer of Jesus.

"I do not ask you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the evil one" - Jesus is sending us out into this world, not some becalmed globe where there are no problems, difficulties or tragedies. He does not ask that we be spared the trials of life but that we may have the strength to cope with them.

"consecrate them in the truth" - To consecrate is to "make holy", and Jesus consecrates himself for our sake, so that we in turn may become a source of holiness for others.

This then is the prayer that Jesus made on our behalf: that we remain faithful, united, strong in coping with evil, and through it all that we may be made holy. The prayer of disciples should echo the prayer of their Master.