Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
May 25, 2023
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jesus prays for those he loves.
In our Gospel. we come to the last section of John 17, the High-Priestly Prayer of Jesus. In his prayer, Jesus prays for three things:
- God’s glory,
- the spiritual strength of his disciples
- for us and all who will believe in him down through history
Today’s passage is the third part. It is about us, and the long line of believers preceding and following our lifetimes. Listen to how Jesus loves us all and begs the Creator to enfold us in the same Abundant Unity whch holds the Trinity together in Love :
(I pray) for those who will believe in me through their word,John 17:20-23
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.
This is such a powerful passage. It tells us that when we truly love one another, with a love like God’s, we generate the image of God for our own time. That image is realized among us in many ways: Church, family, community, friendship, sisterhood, brotherhood. These are the constructs through which the human community experiences, learns ,and practices the Love which is Christ’s Gift to us.
Walter Brueggemann desribes this kind of love as “neighborliness” – that discipline of heart, mind, and spirit through which we are so connected to God’s Abundance that we willingly pass it along to one another. in a sacred mutuality of being. Brueggemann writes extensively and inspiringly on the topic, but I found some of his thoughts outlined in this excellent paper that you might want to reflect on someday at your leisure:
In his prayer, Jesus is tapping into the Infinite Generosity we call God,
that Generosity Who has loved us so much that we came into being,
that Generosity Who continues to love us eternally
into the abundance of life we call Heaven.
Being loved like this, can we be anything but generous in our love for others? It’s a good question to ask ourselves when we reflect on our day before we fall asleep each night.
Poetry: Neighbors by Rudyard Kipling – Kipling gives us an enjoyable interpretation of the Golden Rule to love our neighbors.
The man that is open of heart to his neighbor, And stops to consider his likes and dislikes, His blood shall be wholesome whatever his labor, His luck shall be with him whatever he strikes. The Splendor of Morning shall duly possess him, That he may not be sad at the falling of eve. And, when he has done with mere living, God bless him! A many shall sigh, and one Woman shall grieve!
But he that is costive of soul toward his fellow,
Through the ways, and the works, and the woes of this life,
Him food shall not fatten, him drink shall not mellow;
And his innards shall brew him perpetual strife.
His eye shall be blind to God's Glory above him;
His ear shall be deaf to Earth's Laughter around;
His Friends and his Club and his Dog shall not love him;
And his Widow shall skip when he goes underground!
Music: Bring Him Home – original music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics written by
Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer
The sentiments of the beautiful song from Les Misérables are very similar in tone to the prayer that Jesus prays near the end of his life. Jesus wants his followers to live eternally. The singer seems to want the same thing.
2 thoughts on “Praying for Those We Love”
You never disappoint, Sr. Renee!!! ❤️
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Thank you for your encouragement, dear Clare.❤️🙏