7th Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:15-17,20-26 II:
1 John 4:11-16
11 Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are.
12 When I was with them I protected them in your name that you
gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except
the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be
13 But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that
they may share my joy completely.
14 I gave them your word, and the world hate them, because they
do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you
keep them from the evil one.
16 They do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world.
17 Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
19 And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be
consecrated in truth.
- Having completed his farewell speech to the disciples near
Passover, Jesus allows them and the bystanding listeners to
overhear some of the ongoing conversation between God the Father
and God the Son.
- This passage is part of the high-priestly prayer by Jesus
(Jn 17:1-26). The term high-priestly prayer is given by the 16th
century Lutheran theologian David Chytraeus.
- It is for the disciples that Jesus say this "high-priestly prayer"
(vv.1-26) at his moment of departure. After this prayer, Jesus
will proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane and there Judas
will betray him.
- (v.12) Lost or "perished" refers to falling away from discipleship,
not necessarily to eternal perdition.
- While verse 12 seems at first to suggest an imperfect performance
by Jesus in allowing one to be destroyed, Jesus makes clear that
the betrayal was not in fact given to him by the Father but
Judas' treachery had been taking shape little by little through his
petty infidelities, and by the devil, the father of lies and murder
Jesus notes it again that the loss of Judas was part of the risk taken
in the incarnation (Jn13:18).
- In sacred Scripture "world" has a number of meanings:
- It means the whole of creation (Gen 1:1ff) and within creation,
mankind, which God loves most tenderly (Pro 8:31); this is
the meaning intended in v.15.
- It refers to the things of this world, which do not last,
which can be at odds with the things of the spirit (Mt 16:26);
- It sometimes means God's enemy, something opposed to Christ
and his followers (Jn 1:10). In this sense, the "world" is
the place of evil and therefore Jesus is not of the world, nor are
his disciples (v.16).
- (v.17) The disciples are the priests of the New Law. Just as the
priests of the Old Law were consecrated (made holy), so are those
of the New, but in a far more personal and intimate way.
One Main Point
Although still in the world, Jesus looks on his earthly ministry as a
thing in the past (v.14). Death is the act that begins the process of
leading his community into holiness, armed only with the truth, to
continue the mission, sent by God into the world.
- Imagine you are about to leave the group of close friends and
disciples. What do you have to tell your group? What would your
prayer be for them?
- How does the world treat me? Am I given to Jesus "from this
world?" Do I see myself as part of the risk Jesus has taken in
choosing his followers?
- Why does Jesus pray to the Father for "those you have given
me" but not for the "world?" How often do you pray for the protection
and the unity of Jesus' followers and of the church?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community