The Prayer of Jesus
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from SVD Bible Diary
2006 Jesus prayed to the Father: “I revealed your name to those whom you gave to me out of this world.. .they belonged to you and you gave them to me…Keep them in your name…so that they may be one just as we are,” (vv. 4,6,11).
What would change in my attitudes and behavior if I begin to believe in and hold on to the truth that the person next to me belongs to God just as I belong to Him and because of this, we are one and not separate from each other? Would I not gladly tie the shoelace of my brother, sister, friend and much more still? Convinced beyond doubt that every person I live, work, study, walk along with is part of me, what is there for me to be jealous or envious about? What is there for me to keep only for myself, away from the other? What is there that I would wish for myself and not wish for the other part of me? (Sr. Ancille, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)
2007 How can we give glory to God in our daily lives? A historian answered: “”You have to die first before you find your glory!” Abraham Lincoln had his enemies during his lifetime but even those who had criticized him saw His greatness when he died. Stanton, who was an arch critic of Lincoln, looked down at his dead body with tears in his eyes: “There lies,” he said, “the greatest ruler of men the world has even seen.”
Was it not also the same with Jesus hanging dead on the cross? The centurion at the foot of the cross was left saying: “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Today’s readings highlight three qualities by which we can give glory to God in our daily lives without physically dying: prayer, a willingness to carry our crosses and faithfulness to God. Though daily prayer we open ourselves to God, we allow God to transform us. We become centered in God and are able to focus on what truly matters in life: loving God and accepting the love He has for us.
Carrying our crosses, enduring hardships in praise of Jesus shows our love and devotion to God the Father. This is affirmed by Peter who says that “whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should be ashamed but glorify God because of the name,” (1Pet 4:16).
Faithfulness to God also serves to give Him glory. This is expressed in loving Him with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Our wholehearted love of God, shown through acts of charity and compassion toward others, speaks of God’s infinite goodness and loving care for every one of us.
Through prayer, enduring hardships for the sake of the gospel and through loving God and our neighbor, we give Him glory. (Fr. Gene Bacareza, SVD Bible Diary 2007)
2008 Today’s readings complement each other very well in the perspective they give on our relation with Christ and our apostolate as Christians. Jesus comes to the end of His earthly mission and prays for a unity within and with the Church, which is like the unity between Him and His Father. Paul knows that his mission on earth is coming to an end and he now takes leave of the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus. The love and care of both Jesus and Paul for the people they have been serving and their sorrow at leaving them, are evident in the readings. Both are ready and willing to accept the suffering and death that will be their lot. What is important is the completion of the mission entrusted to them to bear witness to God’s saving plan. Paul and Jesus could justly claim a job well done.
Some years ago politicians watered down the proposed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and Bishop Bacani asked them how they would face their Maker at the end of time.. I don’t think he meant simply that they had been bad boys who were going to be punished but rather they would have cause for shame before the Almighty because they had not been true to their vocation as Christians. I have never really thought of my Christian vocation in terms of punishment but rather of the joy of being called to be kaagapay with Jesus in the Church and my sadness when I fail and do not keep faith in Christ.
This gospel text is taken from what is often called the Priestly Prayer of Christ but I think of it also as the Prayer of Christ the Teacher. It has long been one of my favorite texts and it has helped me in my transition from the life of a teacher to the life of a priest. So many elements in the gospel are the same in the life of a Christian teacher and of a priest – revealing God’s name, prayer, love, helping the people entrusted to us to grow and keeping them faithful and safe from harm.
Whatever our occupation we are all teachers, and we all share in the universal priesthood of Christ. Like Paul, the presbyters at Ephesus and Jesus’ disciples, we are still in the world. Are we faithful to our Christian vocation? Are we fulfilling our mission? How will we face our maker at the end of time? Could we claim a job well done? (Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Bible Diary 2008)
2016 May 10, 2016 Tuesday
One of the reasons why Jesus allowed John the Baptist to baptize Him despite John’s reluctance was to convey to all of us that he is “Emmanuel” (God is with us), that despite his being divine, he proved that he is not a distant God but that he is a God who is with us and among us.
Thus, the Baptism of Jesus was an event that correlates well in the Gospel today particularly with his “connecting” with the Father. Such an encounter is primarily to tell his Father that the decision to send Him to the world because of so great a love of God for humanity (cf John 3:16) was not in vain. Jesus became word incarnate, He became the Word made esh and made his dwelling among us, He became one among us except sin because that was his vocation: to do the will of his Father.
Although the last part of the Gospel signals the “return” of Jesus to the Father, it is significantly a manifestation of how God in Jesus willingly and humbly sacrificed his life so that we would have life and have it to the full. One challenge of the Gospel today is how we can be active partakers of that love of Jesus and share it to others. (Fr. Jun Javines, SVD | USC, Cebu Bible 2016)
2018 In Cana, with His mother and disciples, Jesus performed his first miracle: turning water into wine. It is interesting to note that when Mary told Jesus that “they have no wine,” Jesus said, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? MY HOUR HAS NOT YET COME!” Remember, Jesus was just beginning his public ministry (John 2:1-12). He was preparing the way to fulfil the will of His Father.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “IT IS FINISHED.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit (John 19:30). The work that had been given him by his Father was now completed. He gathered what belonged to His Father and revealed his Father’s name to those who believed. He built the bridge that connected His Father with his people. Mission accomplished!
Now, the HOUR HAS COME for the Son to be glorified! Wait, remember, what Jesus said, “Give glory to your Son, so that your Son may glorify you!” The glory of the Son is for the glory of the Father for in the end, the Father and Son are ONE! The Father was glorified in the Son who remained faithful ‘til the end.
In other words, one day our own HOUR will also come. This is for certain. The only question is whether we will be glorified as well when our HOUR COMES! Let us remember the examples of Jesus: his unconditional love for the Father and for his people and his unwavering fidelity to all that the Father had asked of Him. Today, as we continue to celebrate the victory of the cross, let us promise our Savior that in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, we will love Him and honor Him all the days of our life (Fr. Carlos Macatangga SVD, Bible Diary 2018)
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