MAY 19. EASTER. Wk 7. Wed. Jn 17. 11-19
Updated: Sep 5
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
keep those you have given me true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them,
I kept those you had given me true to your name.
I have watched over them
and not one is lost
except the one who chose to be lost,
and this was to fulfil the scriptures.
But now I am coming to you
and while still in the world I say these things
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them,
and the world hated them,
because they belong to the world
no more than I belong to the world.
I am not asking you to remove them from the world,
but to protect them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too may be consecrated in truth.’
This reading, as we approach Pentecost, focuses very much on the subject of Truth; - and the world’s need for it; - while also making it clear “the world” is totally ignorant of the Truth!
The subject of “Truth” is rarely discussed in relation to human life and its purpose which is a strange situation given all the searching we do for truth in relation to science, and the great emphasis we put on it in other areas, eg: Medicine. One has to ask why do we show such little concern for Truth when it comes to the purpose and meaning of life?
And even when we discuss religion with non-believers we seem to avoid the issue of “what is the Truth”; - as if it is not really that important; - and yet “truth” is at the very heart of Faith!
Christ put great emphasis on Truth, claiming to be “the Truth” which he is; - as he is God and His purpose in becoming man was to reveal the truth!
He did not just come among just to us to ‘tell’ the Truth; - he also lived with us to ‘bear witness’ to it; - in both his teachings and his way of life; - and that included revealing the extent of God’s love for his people; - in that he was prepared to sacrifice his life on a Cross!
When people search for truth, we do so by insisting, rightly, on evidence by which it can be validated; - and Christ ended his life by providing evidence; - in the form of his Resurrection! Yet; - even in the light of that evidence; - many still do not believe he revealed “the Truth?”
Gospel Acclamation cf. John 17:17
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
make us holy in the truth.
First reading Acts 20:28-38 ·
I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, and its power
Paul addressed these words to the elders of the church of Ephesus:
‘Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the overseers, to feed the Church of God which he bought with his own blood. I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never failed to keep you right, shedding tears over each one of you. And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified.
‘I have never asked anyone for money or clothes; you know for yourselves that the work I did earned enough to meet my needs and those of my companions. I did this to show you that this is how we must exert ourselves to support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, who himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”’
When he had finished speaking he knelt down with them all and prayed. By now they were all in tears; they put their arms round Paul’s neck and kissed him; what saddened them most was his saying they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.