Homily for the seventh Sunday of Easter - Year C - Jn. 17:20-26


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" Jesus said: «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: «I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word.» "


Jesus ascended into Heaven: and since then, he is seated at the right hand of the Father. Before going away, he left on earth disciples - the Apostles - whom he commanded to remain in town, in Jerusalem, in order to await there the promised Holy Spirit, that power which would come from on high: "Stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high." (Lk. 24:49) This power had to come from on high, that is, from Heaven, for it was to make the Apostles courageous witnesses to the death and resurrection of Christ: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)


With Jesus gone, the Apostles are the depositaries of his proper word: everything that their Master taught, the Apostles must transmit it in its entirety to all who would truly receive their message. This is the duty and the mission of the Apostles: this is the mission of the entire Church until the consummation of the world! Insofar as the Apostles and all the disciples of Christ thus do their duty by obeying the command of the Savior of men, the grace of faith spreads forth everywhere, throughout the whole world, wherever there are hearts ready to open up to the action of the Holy Spirit: "While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word." (Acts 10:44)


Throughout the whole world, day after day, year after year, century after century, the Holy Spirit waits for men and women of all nations to faithfully proclaim the Word of God to those they meet on their journey, in order that, thanks to this word, he, the Almighty, might be able to grant the grace of faith to all those whom God invites to share in his Glory. Many men and women have done so, one after another, down to our day, announcing the Gospel of God in order that you and I might finally, one way or another, receive the grace of faith. Truly, we can all thank the Lord Jesus, for his prayer was effective and absolutely almighty: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word."


" «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.» "


Jesus continues with his prayer and says to his Father: "The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one." Jesus speaks of the glory which he himself received from his Father. Thus he does not speak of his own glory. Moreover, Jesus has none of his own. If Jesus had his own glory, then he would not be what he is, namely, the Son of the Father. For the Son receives everything from his Father, absolutely everything: there is no Son without the Father, and there is no Father without the Son. Jesus proclaimed this on several occasions; for instance, he once said to his disciples: "The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works." (Jn. 14:10)


Jesus has no glory of his own: his glory is that of the Father! And he gives his Father's glory to his disciples. Why? So that the glory of the Father might realize the unity of his disciples: "The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one." Without the glory of the Father, there is no unity possible among the disciples of Christ. Why is this? Quite simply because the desire for one's own glory, for that glory which is called "vainglory", is a temptation that the Evil one, the devil, seeks to incite in the soul of the disciples of Christ, at any cost. Now, if everyone seeks after his own glory, no unity is possible...


" «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.» "


"O righteous Father, the world has not known thee..." For the world seeks its own glory, and not the glory of God... Christ himself and his disciples after him had indeed proclaimed the Kingdom of God in the Power of the Holy Spirit, but the world, this world whose prince is Satan, did not welcome the Word of eternal Life: for, the world - each man, each woman - remains mysteriously free before the Power of the Most High... The world did not recognize God as its Father, for this world does not have the spirit of a son: it does not have the spirit of abandonment and of the total giving of self to the Creator of all things...


"I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me." Thanks to the words of Christ himself, which are "words of grace" (Lk. 4:22), those whom he chose as disciples recognized God as the Father, the Father of He who came to save them from eternal death! The disciples of Christ did not close their heart to the Power of the Word of God. On the contrary, they opened it wide open, allowing themselves to be penetrated by the grace of God, who invites them to seek not their own glory but that of God.


During today's Eucharist, let us try to open up our soul and all of our spirit to the action of God in us. Let us ask Mary, Jesus' Mother and our Mother, to guide our prayer and to intercede on our behalf before the Holy Spirit, her mystical Husband, He whose Glory she shares forever in Heaven! May we receive communion today for the Glory of God and for that of Mary!



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