Sunday, June 5, 2011
The Prayer That Transcends The Ages
*Here in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ we celebrate today the seventh Sunday of Easter. The reflection is based on the Gospel for that Sunday (John 17:1~11).
Chapter 17 of John's Gospel is the prayer of Jesus. He prays this prayer before going to His Passion and Death. However, the Church gives us this Gospel passage after the Ascension and it is appropriate at this time as well.
I have always loved this chapter of John's Gospel; they are some of the most beautiful words in all of Scripture. Jesus prays this prayer from deep within His Sacred Heart for his disciples who have followed Him during His earthly life, but also for all those who would follow Him in the ages to come. It is a prayer that echoes through every age.
In Jesus' prayer I also see the example He sets for how we should pray. Jesus and the Father were of the same nature; the Father knew what was in His Son's Heart and the prayer was already answered. Jesus did not have to voice His prayer, but He did and I believe more so for our benefit than His. We too need to pray with that same spirit of faith. Yes, God knows what we will say and pray before the prayer is ever formed in our own hearts and minds, but He wants us to bring these prayers to Him.
Finally, Jesus tells His Father that He has been glorified in those He has chosen out of the world. Those today and in the times to come who live their faith have been chosen by Christ as well. We have not chosen Him, but He has chosen us. If we live the commandments He has given us, Jesus is glorified in us. That is truly an awesome thought and an awesome gift.
Thank You for the gift of faith, for Your prayer for those of us You have chosen to follow You. May I remain open to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit so that You will be glorified in me, and at the end of this life the Father will see You reflected in my soul.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.