7th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 20:17-27
From Miletus Paul sent word to Ephesus, summoning the elders of the Church. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, how I served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that the Jews caused me. You know that I never held back from doing anything that could be useful for you; I spoke publicly and in your homes and I urged Jews and non-Jews alike to turn to God and believe in our Lord Jesus.
But now I am going to Jerusalem, chained by the Spirit, without knowing what will happen to me there. Yet in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that imprisonment and troubles await me. Indeed I put no value on my life, if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, to announce the good news of God’s grace.
I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom of God will ever see me again. Therefore I declare to you this day that my conscience is clear with regard to all of you. For I have spared no effort in fully declaring to you God’s will.
Gospel: John 17:1-11
Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; give glory to your Son, that the Son may give glory to you. You have given him power over all mortals, and you want him to bring eternal life to all you have entrusted to him. For this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and the One you sent, Jesus Christ.
“I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do. Now, Father, give me in your presence the same Glory I had with you before the world began.
“I have made your name known to those you gave me from the world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they kept your word. And now they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you. I have given them the teaching I received from you, and they received it and know in truth that I came from you; and they believe that you have sent me.
“I pray for them; I do not pray for the world but for those who belong to you and whom you have given to me—indeed all I have is yours and all you have is mine—and now they are my glory. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world whereas I am going to you. Holy Father, keep them in your Name (that you have given me,) so that they may be one, just as we are.”
What do you mean by “the world?” This blue planet of ours, with its vast oceans, its beautiful rivers, lakes, and mountains, its countless forms of life, its infinitely precious and stricken human race? No! That is God’s work of art and the place where God’s Word pitched his tent. What John means by “world” is not the physical world but all the power structures in it that are opposed to the coming of God’s Kingdom. We have no choice but to be part of the physical world, but we are called to be drop-outs from all structures that bring death and desolation to humanity. The most complete drop-out from such a “world” is the one who knows “you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
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