Homily for the seventh Easter Sunday - Year C - Jn. 17:20-26
 
 
by
 
Father Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Jesus said praying his Father: «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 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 sent 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.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Jesus said, praying to his Father: «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.» "
 
Today, in many countries, we celebrate the mass for the seventh Easter Sunday, while in other countries, it is the feast of the Ascension that we celebrate. In both these cases, today's mystery is the same: the departure of the Lord into Heaven and the expectation of the Holy Spirit in communal prayer. Indeed, before going up to Heaven, the Lord Jesus had instructed his disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait there for the coming of the Holy Spirit: "As for you, wait patiently in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Lk. 24:49)
 
The Spirit is to come and the disciples of Jesus wait for him with a holy impatience, because it is he who is the Comforter, it is he who is the Powerful one, the one who worked miracles among the people whom God chose, and notably in Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the one whom the Holy Spirit himself chose for his Spouse! Jesus having gone up to Heaven, the Holy Spirit is going to come, and all wait for him, praying with one heart: "All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers." (Ac. 1:14) Besides, how could it be otherwise? How could the disciples, the Apostles of Christ, not be united amongst themselves while they await the coming of the one who is to perfect and strengthen their unity?
 
Jesus prayed to his Father in order that all his disciples be one, and his prayer is effective: it brings about what it expresses. For in this case, we are not dealing with simple human prayer: Jesus is at once both God and Man, and when he prays, his request is inevitably accomplished. His prayer, in the present case, is the expression of his command, of his personal order: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another." (Jn. 13:34)
 
If all the disciples are united with each other in order to await the coming of the Holy Spirit, it's because they love each other, thus carrying out the order of Christ. Now, Jesus has said it clearly: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (Jn. 13:35) "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 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.» "
 
The unity of the disciples of Christ is not limited to those who are on earth. No, it also, and especially, extends to those who are in Heaven, but first of all it extends to Jesus himself, the firstborn of a multitude of brethren (cf. Rm. 8:29) "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." Also, when the Holy Spirit will come, he will confirm not only the union of all the disciples with each other, but also, and especially, the union of Jesus with each disciple: the Holy Spirit is the one who fortifies our union to Christ Jesus.
 
The Holy Spirit doesn't come to do all this alone. He is himself very closely united to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. So it is with her, and through her, that the Spirit of God achieves the union of the disciples of the Lord. For, ever since the Incarnation, the union between the Holy Spirit and Mary is so strong and indissoluble that nothing can ever dissolve it and it can never lack for anything. So, on the day of Pentecost, all that Mary receives for herself, she gives back to all the gathered disciples, co-operating in this way in the work of union accomplished by the Holy Spirit in person.
 
Today, let us, too, prepare our hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit! Let us receive Jesus in us, with all his love! Let us ask Mary to help us in our task: she is a Mother to us all!
 

To order the weekly homily immediately, click here