May 15, 2010


7th Sunday of Easter (May 16, 2010)
John 17:20-26

"You Loved them Even As You Loved Me"

Today, we proclaim and listen to the very last verses in the Gospel of John before Jesus goes to the garden to begin his passion. These words bring the Last Supper to a close. In that context, we can see the importance of the prayer Jesus offers to the Father here.

This prayer shows us who we are in Jesus' eyes, how he cares for us, and how God the Father loves us.

He prays, "Father, they are your gift to me." That's who we are in Jesus' eyes. We are the gift that the Father gives to the Son.[1] Knowing the perfect love between the Father and the Son, what do these words say to us? We are the Father's precious gift to the Son!

As Jesus is about to be taken from his friends, he assures them, and us, all future generations who "believe in [Jesus] through their words," that we have a powerful friend and intercessor in Jesus. He prays to the Father on our behalf. Again, knowing the perfect love between the Father and the Son, what do these words say to us? The Son prays to the Father for us!

Finally, in this prayer, Jesus reveals the depth of the Father's love for us. "You loved them even as you loved me." Think of that. "Even as!" It's with the same love that the Father loves us and the Son.

And Jesus prays that the Father's love may be realized in us. "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.”

There, the mission of Christ! To draw us into a loving relationship with the Father, just as Christ is in that love.

[1] Kyle Zinno, one of our Salesian seminarians, offered this reflection during our weekly lectio divina.

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