Acts 1: 12 - 14
1 Peter 4: 13 - 16
John 17: 1 - 11a
Theological Note :
The drama of the Gospel recounted by John is of cosmic dimensions. For those living in the world, the coming of Jesus opens a passageway to the Father. For the Father sent his Son, not to judge the world, but to save it. A division appears between those who believe in the word of Jesus and those who refuse it. The Gospel declares that those who receive the word are not of this world; the Father has drawn them from the world. The others belong to this world. Jesus prays for those who do not belong to this world but dwell in it, that they may be protected from evil and be sanctified in the truth.
At the hour when Jesus returns to the Father in the perfect fulfilling of his will, at the hour of his Passion when Jesus does not let his life be taken away but gives it, Jesus raises his eyes to heaven and prays. Before leaving them, He had told his own all that he had to tell them; now he turns to the Father. He knows that the hour has come when He will not be able to escape death, when He will have to make an ultimate and decisive act of confidence in the Father. And He knows that the Father has placed all in his hands. On one hand, He knows that as tragic as it may be, the hour of passing is the hour of return to the Father. On the other hand, He knows that his return to the Father attests that He came from the Father and has received all power from Him.
The death of Jesus is the result of the combat that He waged all his life. By becoming Man to the point of assuming all our human limitations, He crossed over the distance that separated man from God. His violent death is the deepest descent that a human can experience; yet it is at the hour when He will endure it that He will ask the Father to be glorified, that the Father himself, may be glorified. He asks the Father to clothe Him with glory; that is, to show forth in Him the divine power and communicate to mortal humans the very life that He received from God. This is the glory of the Father: that humans live and become like God.
The life that the Father promised to humankind, eternal life, is the knowledge of God. To know God is to enter into an intimate relationship with God and to share his life. It means remaining rooted in God; receiving the word the faith dimension- and to recognize the dimension of love. Thus Jesus reveals that to be a human means to have the power to believe and to love. He prays for those who live this double dimension. He is their intercessor also so that they may pass from the world to the Father. That jealousy be taken away, the thirst for power, laziness and egoism by the long work of purification.
This message is for us. If we really want to have an experience of God, know God, be aware of our life as a salvation history, we must root out all that impedes love so that our being is not too opaque for God to appear. The mystery of the Trinity is expressed through us when we experience our coming from the Father, identify with the Son, and are moved by the Spirit. The stakes are high: liberate the divine life in ourselves, live our own story and return constantly to God in order to continue our life in the world; liberate our capacity to love which centers us, brings us to the most intimate part of our being where God dwells.
Yes, Lord, You are our light and our salvation, the rampart of our lives. In our hearts, we hear your word: Seek my Face, (Ps. 27). We ask you the grace to enter into an intimate relationship with You, to receive your commandment of love and thus become a dwelling for You.
—Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.