The Gospel according to John (17:20-26)
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, open my heart a little wider during this time of prayer. Help me to see how much you want to love me, and how I often get in the way. Let me set aside all worries, distractions, and fears, and say yes to your invitation to spend this time with you.
Encountering Christ: Life is a mystical, magical thing that has fascinated and intrigued humanity since the advent of time. Thinking about this I recall the many versions and times I have watched the movie Frankenstein. If you are familiar with the story, you know the obsession to create life was misguided, self-serving, and ultimately evil and destructive. There have also been other movies and literature that have pondered the ability to create life. However, the creation of life has not been nor will it ever be a human achievement.
God in the beginning of time created something from nothing. He is the creator, the author of life. He gave us the gift of life. But he blessed us with the ability to be co-creators in that those who are blessed can create a life. The Stevie Wonder song, Isn’t She Lovely, takes me back to my experience as a new father. Together with my beautiful wife we became parents to the most incredible baby girl. In the Sacrament of Marriage, we became co-creators with the grace of God to bring a life into this world. I experienced a love that I still cannot adequately describe but know that it is from God.
Jesus was getting ready to leave his brothers and sisters. At this point he is asking his father to provide his followers with what they needed to realize how much they are loved. This sounds a lot like the love of a father for his precious children. He is not only asking for their wellbeing but for a place in the fellowship of the love shared in the Trinitarian love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The language he uses “so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me.” And “I wish that where I am they also may be with me.” is a clear plea for an inclusion into the communal love shared by the Holy Trinity. What makes this prayer even more amazing is he was asking not only for those present and among his followers but for all of humanity. He came to save us and offer us an opportunity for this relationship because he loves us, you and me. Like we do our children, parents, spouses, or others? No, that is just a glimpse into the love our Father in heaven, his Son who became one of us, and the Paraclete have for each and every one of us.
He wants to share his glory with us! Does this come with a cost? Actually, the offer comes with no strings attached. However, it calls us to respond to this gift by returning the very life and love we have been given. For this communal love that we are offered can and should be present here on earth in our every day lives. It is in the relationships that we seek, nurture, struggle with, and ultimately fight for that we can find our way home. Our path to Trinitarian love leads us to, with, and through the life and love of the few and the many.
Safe travels and may our desire to love and to be loved mirror that of the creator who loves us so much he gave us his only son as a means to an ENDLESSLOVENDLESSLOVENDLESSLOVE…
Closing Prayer: Good and gracious Father you heard the prayer of your son who loves us so much that he, like you, wants to give us everything. May we realize the generosity of this gift born out of the love you have for your son.
Action for the Day: There is a relationship that needs you. Find the one who could use a reminder of how much they are loved. Share the love that overflows from the grace you receive from the pleas of the Son who wants to share his glory with you.