June 4, 2011

7th Sunday of Easter - A


Jesus Prays for Us

For three weeks now we have been reading from John's account of the Last Supper.

In the Gospel of the 5th Sunday of Easter, Jesus tells the disciples, whom he knows well, that he is the way, the truth and the life. Only through him can they come to the Father.

Then last week, Jesus urges the same group of weak disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." To the disciples who will deny and abandon him, he then gives the example of his own love in his humble washing their feet and later, in the gift of his own life on the cross. He also promises them the help of the Advocate so that they may be able to love as he commands.

Now, he prays for the disciples.

The disciples are weak and fragile. They are sinners. They even deny and reject Jesus. Yet, in his own words, they belong to God and they are the Father's gifts to the Son. "They belonged to you, and you gave them to me." Moreover, Jesus prays to the Father, "Everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine."

And Jesus does not pray only for the disciples present then at the Last Supper. Later on in this same prayer, in 17:20, Jesus adds, "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word." [1]

Yes, Jesus does not pray just for those disciples, he prays for me also.

I may be weak and broken. I am a sinner, like those disciples.

And Jesus prays for me because I am the Father's gift to Him.

[1] Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., The Gospel of John, Sacra Pagina series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998; p. 459.

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