May 6, 2008
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
John 17: 1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."
Introductory Prayer: Heavenly Father, you created me and I owe everything to you. My gifts and talents are used most wisely when they are directed towards fulfilling your will in my life. I am called to give you glory through my actions by imitating your Son. I count on your help to show me the proper path to follow.
Petition: Father, you reveal yourself to me in the person of your son Jesus Christ. Help me to prepare for heaven every day by knowing you more and by loving you better.
1. Do You See What I See? Even the simplest actions in Jesus’ earthly life were done in union with the Father. The lifting of his eyes to heaven in prayer was a symbol of where his heart was at all times: with his Father in heaven. By lifting his eyes, Jesus invites us to see beyond the purely material value of things. How many times Jesus must have lifted his eyes in prayer during the simple life he led in Nazareth. He transformed ordinary events into saving events by offering them to his Father. God calls us to live in the world, but also to transform it by elevating our thoughts to heaven. While being firmly committed to our duties on earth, Jesus invites us to consider the things of heaven which will last forever: love, peace, joy, happiness.
2. The Voice of Authority You might have come across the bumper sticker which reads, “Question Authority.” We could respond by asking: “By what authority are you asking me to do that?” The fact is that God uses his authority over us for one reason alone: for our own good and out of love for us. We are his, and he guides us as a loving Father. At Jesus’ transfiguration, the Father’s voice was heard: “This is my beloved son. Listen to him.” When we listen to Jesus and to his teachings, we are listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd leads us to green pastures where we find rest. The Father gave Jesus “authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all.”
3. Work and Prayer Jesus lived his life for us and for our salvation. Our salvation was the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. While accomplishing this work, we know that Jesus also prayed. He prayed that the Father would forgive his persecutors. In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us plainly that he prays also for us. His life is a constant reminder that he wants us to merit eternal life through work and prayer. God himself worked and prayed for our salvation. How much work and prayer have we put forward to cooperate with his goodness?
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, by becoming a man you desired to share your heavenly life with me. While I live and breathe on earth, help me to keep my gaze fixed on the eternal joy that I hope to share with you in heaven. You are the way, the truth, and the life of my soul. With you at my side I will never falter.
Resolution: I will spend a few moments before our Lord in the Eucharist or in silent prayer thanking him for the guidance he gives us through the Pope and through the bishops in communion with him.
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