A Gospel Reflection
by Deacon Kurt Heinrich

Thursday, May 28th
Gospel: John 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

Dear Friends and Family,

Jesus continues his prayer to God the Father for his disciples. He speaks of love: the love that exists between himself and his Father; the love that is found between himself and his disciples; and finally, the love that exists between Jesus and all who come to know him because of the teaching and witness of the disciples. The love that Jesus has for his Father is the same love that is shared with each one of us today.

Jesus prays,
…so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me.

Jesus wants to give this love to us so that we can “be brought to perfection as one.” It’s amazing to read this prayer in the gospel of John and realize that Jesus is saying these words about YOU and ME. We are loved. As the threats of the world confine us, remember that you are loved. As we consider what steps to take in this new world, remember that you are loved. As we witness a lack of unity or harmony among people, remember that all people are loved by God. We could go on and on. The knowledge of God’s great love for us should change how we see the world, how we live in it, and how we grow in harmony with our brothers and sisters. We will live in the confident promise that the Creator of All loves us as he loves his beloved Son. That kind of love changes everything. Open your Bible to the Gospel of John, chapter 17 and read the chapter from beginning to end. Slowly take it to God in prayer and rest in the warmth of his love.
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