This week the Catholic Church completes the celebration of the seven weeks of Easter as next Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost. However, we will not hear the Readings for the seventh Sunday, rather we will hear the Scripture chosen for the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. Many will remember the Ascension as being a Holy Day of Obligation: “Ascension Thursday” – some 40 days after the Resurrection. Today’s Church allows for Ascension to be celebrated on the seventh Sunday of Easter and our diocese does just that with permission of our Bishop. What we will not have the opportunity to hear at Mass is the beautiful prayer that Jesus prays to his Father for his people – for us. You can find this prayer in the Gospel of John 17.1-26. I encourage all to find yourself a Bible and read this prayer imagining that Jesus is speaking to his Father for your sake, for indeed he is.
Here is a part of that prayer:
“I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those who you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I pray not only for them, but 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. 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.” Did you know that Jesus prayed to his Father in this way just before his crucifixion? Jesus is referring to his death and ultimate Resurrection when he asks his Father to “glorify” him now that his work on earth is complete. Jesus truly came for us; that we might one day be with him and in him, just as he is in his Father. Because of the incredible gift of our Creator and his plan for our salvation, we will be one with God for eternity through Jesus Christ. This we must believe! Alleluia! Amen!
With true joy in the Risen Lord,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC