May 7, 2008
Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
“Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that your words are truth and life. Your teachings protect me from the evil one and give me strength. I come before you in prayer, confident that my joy will be complete the more I unite my will to your will.
Petition: Protect me, Lord, from anything that separates me from you.
1. Amazing Grace In today’s Gospel Jesus prays for unity. He wants us to be one with him and with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Sin is the great danger that threatens that unity. In the Garden of Eden, the evil one used the tactic of “divide and conquer.” He caused division by sowing doubt in Adam’s and Eve’s hearts. Weakened by doubt, they were overcome by sin. We, too, are wounded by sin, but God’s grace heals that wound. God’s grace is that divine protection that Jesus so lovingly asks the Father to give us: “Holy Father, protect them….” His grace heals our soul. We should take advantage of every opportunity we have to receive that grace, especially by receiving the sacraments.
2. I Am the Truth and the Life Truth is a beautiful thing because it comes from God. A life built on truth is built on a solid foundation. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: “Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another” (Summa theologiae, II-II, 109, 3 ad 1). We are free to accept, to reject or even to question truth like Pontius Pilate, but our happiness depends on living in accordance with it. Truth allows us to live in harmony with God and with one another.
3. Chain Reaction “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” God came into the world because he wants to transform it by his love. The first disciples experienced that love in person and couldn’t help but spread what they experienced. As Pope Benedict said at World Youth Day in 2005: “To use an image well known to us today, this is like inducing nuclear fission in the very heart of being -- the victory of love over hatred, the victory of love over death. Only this intimate explosion of good conquering evil can then trigger off the series of transformations that little by little will change the world.”
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. I welcome your grace and your truth into my life so that I may become more like you. You freed me from my sins by your death and resurrection. Help me to thank you by the way I live my daily life.
Resolution: I will set aside a few moments of my day to assist someone in need.
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