Jesus prayed for the true welfare of His beloved followers
Reflections on the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (May 13, 2018): ACTS 1:15-17, 20-26; PS 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; 1 JN 4:11-16; JN 17:11-19
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Sunday between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost, we hear the prayer that Jesus addressed to His Father while He was with the Apostles after the Last Supper.
It is part of what is called the Final Discourse in the Gospel according to St. John. Our Lord is letting His closest friends and followers know how important they are to Him, by letting them know how special they are to the Father. “Lifting up His eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: ‘Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as we are one.… I protected them in Your name .…and guarded them’” (John 17:11-12). Christ wants them to understand that His ministry will soon be turned over to them – because He is going to heaven.
Jesus loves the Apostles. And they are particularly precious to Him because they will continue His work of salvation. They will communicate His message to countless people who embrace God’s mercy. They will be responsible for building up His Church, one person, one family, and one community at a time. Jesus knows that He is about to suffer and die. And, like their Master, virtually all of these men – and many other Christians even today – will offer their own lives in His name. Our Redeemer assures the Apostles and all who follow Him that they will know joy in His service and glory in eternal life.