Today’s Thoughts: For those of you celebrating the Feast of the Ascension today you can see my reflections from Thursday May 10, 2018. However, for those celebrating the Seventh Sunday of Easter today my reflections follow…
In the first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles we get a glimpse of how the early Church put profound trust in the Spirit. They decide to fulfil the vacancy left by Judas. There is only two qualifications for the job - “It is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” These are the only two qualifications and from here they let the Holy Spirit do his work. The simply, cast lots between these two men. There was no campaigning, no party affiliations to consider, no lengthy lists of qualifications to consider. They leave it up to casting lots. Total trust in the presence of the Spirit.
The Gospel passage today is taken from the Last Supper discourse in John’s Gospel. You might say that this is the last meal, the last class, the last prayer-service and the last conversation that the disciples had with Jesus before his death. We could say that it is Jesus’ good-bye speech to them. Within today’s passage Jesus prays. Often when we think of Jesus and prayer, we think of the Our Father. However, today Jesus offers his own prayer. He prays for unity, not uniformity, but unity. Uniformity mean the state or quality of being uniform; overall sameness, homogeneity, or regularity. In other words, everyone is the same. We wear the same thing, we eat the same food, we do everything the same. It is hard to tell one person from the other. Whereas unity means the state of being united or joined as a whole. These two words are different.
Jesus wants us to be united like he and the Father. He wants us to share in their relationship to have our focus on the ultimate goal of eternal life. We may have a different understanding of how to get there. We may use our own unique gifts and talents to make the journey, but we are united with Jesus, the Father and the Spirit.
Jesus and the Father did not always see eye to eye. Jesus like us had to deal with his humanness. In the garden after the Last Supper, Jesus prays that the cup might pass him by, but in the end, he is one with the Father. On the Cross Jesus cries out “My God, my God why have you forsaken me.” But in the end Jesus is one with the Father.
This is the relationship that Jesus invites us into know that we too must deal with our humanness. We are invited to trust and to come to know God’s vision. The world will present us with many visions but if we trust in our relationship with Jesus, the Father and the Spirit we will be able to see beyond what the world presents to the presence of God in our life trusting always in the Spirit.
Have a blessed Sunday and Mother’s Day everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...