Wednesday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
your Son Jesus gave himself totally
to those he loved - that is, to all.
Give us a bit of his unselfish love
that we too may learn from experience
that there is more joy in giving ourselves
than in receiving honours or favours.
May the Spirit make us also so much one
that we graciously share with one another
our God-given riches and gifts as persons.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
2) Gospel Reading - John 17,11b-19
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: Holy
Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one
While I was
with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name. I have watched over
them and not one is lost except one who was destined to be lost, and this was
to fulfil the scriptures. But now I am coming to you and I say these things in
the world to share my joy with them to the full. I passed your word on to them,
and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I
belong to the world.
I am not asking
you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They
do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them
in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent
them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too
may be consecrated in truth.
• We are now in
the Novena of Pentecost, waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says
that the gift of the Holy Spirit is given only to those who ask for it in
prayer (Lk 11, 13). In the Cenacle, during nine days, from the Ascension to
Pentecost, the Apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of
Jesus (Ac 1, 14). This is why they obtained the abundance of the gift of the
Holy Spirit (Ac 2, 4). Today’s Gospel continues to place before us the Priestly
Prayer of Jesus. It is a very, very opportune text to prepare ourselves
during these days to the coming of the Holy Spirit in our life.
• John 17,
11b-12: Keep them in your name! Jesus transforms his concern into
prayer: “Keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be
one like us!” Everything which Jesus does in his life, he does it in the Name of God. Jesus is the manifestation of the Name of God. The Name of God
is Yahweh, JHWH. In the time of Jesus, this name was pronounced saying Adonai,
Kyrios, Lord. In the discourse of Pentecost, Peter says that Jesus because of
his Resurrection was constituted Lord: “For this reason the
whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made
is this Jesus whom you crucified”. (Ac 2, 36). And Paul says that this has been
done so that “every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory
of God, the Father” (Ph 2, 11). It is the Name which is above all other
names” (Ph 2, 9). JHWH or Yahweh, the Name of God, received a concrete face in
Jesus of Nazareth! Unity has to be constituted around this name: Keep those
you have given me true to your name so that they may be one like us. Jesus
wants the unity of the communities, in such a way that they can resist before
the world which hates them and persecutes them. The people united around the Name of Jesus will never be conquered!
• John 17,
13-16: That they may share my joy to the full. Jesus is bidding
farewell. In a short time he will go away. The disciples continue in the world,
they will be persecuted, they will be afflicted. Because of this, they are sad.
Jesus wants that their joy may be full. They want to continue to be in the
world without being of or belonging to the world. This means, concretely, to
live in the system of the Empire, whether liberal or Roman, without allowing
themselves to be contaminated. Like Jesus and with Jesus they should live in
the contrary direction of the world.
• John 17,
17-19: As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. Jesus
asks that they be consecrated in truth. That is, that they may be capable to
dedicate their whole life giving witness of their convictions concerning Jesus
and God the Father. Jesus sanctified himself in the measure in which, during
his life, he revealed the Father. He asks that the disciples enter into the
same process of sanctification. Their mission is the same mission of Jesus. They
sanctify themselves in the measure in which, living in love, they reveal Jesus
and the Father. To sanctify oneself means to become human like Jesus. Pope Leo
the Great said: “Jesus was so human, but so human, as only God can be human”. For
this reason we should live contrary to the world, because the system of the
world dehumanizes human life and renders it contrary to the intentions of the Creator.
• Jesus lived in
the world, but was not of the world. He lived contrary to the system, and
because of this, he was persecuted and was condemned to death. And I? Do I live
contrary to today’s system, or do I adapt my faith to the system?
for Pentecost. To invoke the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who gave
courage to Jesus. In this Novena of preparation to Pentecost, it is good to
dedicate some time to ask for the gift of the Spirit of Jesus.
5) Concluding Prayer
I bless Yahweh
who is my counsellor,
even at night
my heart instructs me.
I keep Yahweh
before me always,
for with him at
my right hand, nothing can shake me.