Daily Thoughts: Today is one of those confusing days for us liturgically. In some place across the United States people are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension and in our places like here in New York people are celebrating the Seventh Sunday of Easter. If you are looking for a reflection on the Ascension just go to my Thursday reflection for this week. What you will find here today is my reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter…
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 it Jesus expresses a profound love for his friends and a deep desire for union, friendship with them. Jesus is one with the Father and longs to share that with his friends and through them to share his love with the world. As with a good-bye speech, there are strong statements of being sent and a wishing to be received. Jesus knows that these friends are a gift from God to him. Jesus loves them as he knows the Father loves him.
We might also say that today’s readings reflect a theme of the importance of prayer in our journey of faith. In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we encounter the first community of faith returning from the Ascension and their first impulse is to gather in prayer. They are probably dealing with many emotions, the loss of the physical presence of Jesus, the confusion of what comes next and their struggle with faith. Yet, they trust in Jesus’ presence, perhaps recalling his words, “where two or three are gather in my name, I am with you.” Prayer becomes the sustaining action of the early Church and hopefully that is still true today.
Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper which we encounter in today Gospel reflects his own personal desire to share with his followers, his friends, his relationship with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus’ prayer is his way to teaching us how to live our life of faith.
I believe our readings today remind us that faith does not depend of the brick and mortar of a building but on the willingness to enter into moments of prayer, as a person of faith, as a family of faith and as a community of faith. With our technology today that community can be a physical presence or a virtual presence. What is most important is that no matter what the struggles are in our life that we do not abandon prayer, our conversation with Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit because that is what will see us through.
Have a blessed and holy Sunday everyone!
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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...