DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY:
THE PRIESTLY PRAYER OF JESUS 1 (Jn 17:1–11a).
Tuesday in the Seventh Week of Easter
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.
“But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Or: Alleluia. .
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the Lord, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever.
Gospel of Tuesday, 7th week of Easter.
The priestly prayer of Jesus
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. (5) Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
(6) “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (7) Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, (8) because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. (11) And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
GOSPEL COMMENTARY from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. John (with permission)
1-26: Summary of ideas of Jn 17.
At the end of the discourse of the Last Supper (chap. 13-16) begins what is called the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, which takes up all of chapter 17.
- It is given that name because Jesus addresses his Father in a very moving dialogue in which, as Priest, he offers him the imminent sacrifice of his Passion and Death.
- It shows us the essential elements of his redemptive mission and provides us with teaching and a model for our own prayer.
- “The Lord, the Only-begotten and co-eternal with the Father, could have prayed in silence if necessary, but he desired to show himself to the Father in the attitude of a supplicant because he is our Teacher. . . Accordingly this prayer for his disciples was useful not only to those who heard it, but to all who would read it” (St Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 104, 2).
The Priestly Prayer consists of three parts:
- in the first (vv. 1-5) Jesus asks for the glorification of his holy human nature and the acceptance, by the Father, of his sacrifice on the Cross.
- In the second part (vv. 6-19) he prays for his disciples, whom he is going to send out into the world to proclaim the redemption which he is now about to accomplish.
- And then (vv. 20-26) [in the third part] he prays for unity among all those who will believe in him over the course of the centuries, until they achieve full union with him in heaven.
1-5: Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. (5) Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
- The word “glory” here refers to the splendour, power and honour which ‘belong to God’.
- The Son is God equal to the Father, and from the time of his Incarnation and birth and especially through his Death and Resurrection his divinity has been made manifest.
- “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14).
- The glorification of Jesus has three dimensions to it.
- It promotes the glory of the Father, because Christ, in obedience to God’s redemptive decree (cf. Phil 2:6), makes the Father known and so brings God’s saving work to completion.
- Christ is glorified because his divinity, which he has voluntarily disguised, will eventually be manifested through his human nature which will be seen after the Resurrection invested with the very authority of God himself over all creation (vv. 2, 5).
- Christ, through his glorification, gives man the opportunity to attain eternal life, to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, his only Son: this in turn redounds to the glorification of the Father and of Jesus Christ while also involving man’s participation in divine glory (v. 3).
- “The Son glorifies you, making you known to all those you have given him. Furthermore, if the knowledge of God is life eternal, we the more tend to life, the more we advance in this knowledge… There shall the praise of God be without end, where there shall be full knowledge of God; and because in heaven this knowledge shall be full, there shall glorifying be of the highest” (St Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 105, 3).
6-8: (6) “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (7) Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, (8) because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.
- Our Lord has prayed for himself, now he prays for his Apostles, who will continue his redemptive work in the world. In praying for them, Jesus describes some of the prerogatives of those who will form part of the Apostolic College.
- First, there is the prerogative of being chosen by God: “thine they were… God the Father chose them from all eternity (cf. Eph 1:3-4) and in due course Jesus revealed this to them: “The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father, called to himself those whom he willed and appointed twelve to be with him, whom he might send to preach the kingdom of God (cf. Mk 3:13-19; Mt 10:1-42). These apostles (cf. Lk 6:13) he constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them (cf. Jn 21:15-17)” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium, 19).
- Also, the Apostles enjoy the privilege of hearing God’s teaching direct from Jesus. From this teaching, which they accept with docility, they learn that Jesus came from the Father and that therefore he is God’s envoy (v. 8): that is, they are given to know the relationships that exist between the Father and the Son.
- The Christian, who also is a disciple of Jesus, gradually acquires knowledge of God and of divine things through living a life of faith and maintaining a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- “Recalling this human refinement of Christ, who spent his life in the service of others, we are doing much more than describing a pattern of human behaviour; we are discovering God. Everything Christ did has a transcendental value. It shows us the nature of God and beckons us to believe in the love of God who created us and wants us to share his intimate life” (St. Josemaria, Christ is passing by, 109).
VIDEO GOSPEL COMMENTARY
TOPIC: WHAT IS YOUR POSTURE WHEN YOU PRAY?
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus, in the Last Supper, is praying to His Father, and is giving Him an accounting of His work on earth. He is about to be crucified the following day and He is now also interceding for His apostles who must carry on His work, including us, who will be doing so, as well.We like to pray because we are a people of faith. We pray using ACTS – Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. We imitate Jesus whose life was centered on prayer. In supplication, we pray for ourselves and others. But when we pray for ourselves, there are many times when what benefits us will be to the detriment of others.
VIDEO COMMENTARY 2 ON TODAY’S FIRST READING (Acts 20:17–27)
Topic: Are you ready to lay down your life for someone or for a cause?
Many people have died for a cause, good and bad. You had the Japanese kamikaze bombers who performed suicidal missions during World War 2. And then you have the terrorists who hijacked passenger planes on Sept. 11, 2001 and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon and the twin towers of the New York World Trade Center.
While the suicidal attacks can be questioned for their moral foundations, the sincerity of the suicidees – perhaps, out of blind obedience to some fundamentally wrong moral beliefs – cannot be questioned.
Paul, in today’s first reading, says: “Yet, I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).” Paul felt that his life will only be worth living if he served Jesus, his Lord. He offered his life to save everyone else’ just like what Mary Desin did who donated her organs upon her death. Camie Loritz, on the other hand, offered a part of herself to a total stranger with her liver donation and had a tearful reunion with her donee.
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