Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Priestly Prayer of Jesus (II)
Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep 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, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. Jn 17,11b-19
This passage from the Gospel of John is the second part of the priestly prayer of Jesus to the Father, before to be arrested by the soldiers and to be crucified. His project is done, the time has come to offer his live because from those first disciples, whom the Father has entrusted to him, the Church will be born: ” Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth”. Returning to the yesterday meditation, the Father has heard this Jesus prayer, he has accepted that his Son offered his life to the purpose that the plan of salvation of the world takes place and he resumed in his hands the project. After the resurrection, the Father will send in the world the Holy Spirit, who will illuminate Peter, the apostles and the disciples, making them to remember all that Jesus had said and done: the church is born. The conception of the church, however, occurred at a time when Jesus gave his life making it to be born: it is a grain of wheat which must die underground, because from it the new ear is originated. It is the beginning of the history of the church which, following the example of Jesus, lives on and propagates in the world until there will be people who offer their lives for the proclamation of the gospel. We read a few days ago, on the Corriere della Sera, an article which reported the growth and the development of the church in Africa. It is sure that the whole of Africa will be converted, it cannot otherwise, since there was a man, Daniel Comboni, who offered his life to the evangelization of the Africa. “I will die – Daniele Comboni said – but my project will not die”. The same thing will happen in Asia, for which conversion missionaries like Francesco Saverio and Matteo Ricci have given their lives. As long as there will be men who offer their lives for the gospel, the Father always will send his Spirit, because it is not possible that he is beaten by someone in generosity.