‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
It’s about this time during the season I begin notice our Easter alleluias getting a little ragged around the edges. Ministers aren’t quite as enthusiastic during the Rite of Sprinkling and we no longer chant the Concluding Rites. Presiders at daily mass stop singing “alleluia” with the Gospel acclamation. What were those alleluias all about anyway?
In the time between the Ascension and Pentecost, the disciples were once again asked to wait for something new. With joyful anticipation, I imagine some of them looking for clues, perhaps asking each other, “What was it Jesus said the last time this happened?” Today we hear Jesus in the final hours before his passion praying for his disciples and for us that we might remember what his life, death, and resurrection are about: becoming one so that we might draw all of creation into the loving embrace of the Creator.
Our Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving prepared our hearts and our communities to joyfully celebrate Christ’s victory over death. As abundant alleluias and Paschal joy begins to subside, we realize we are in a period of transition. Having spent time renewing our baptism into the Body of Christ and learning to recognize his risen presence in our lives, we recognize that we are not finished. The Holy Spirit will arrive to enable us to fulfill Jesus’ deepest desire that we become an ever-widening embodiment of Love.
As we anticipate Pentecost, how might the Easter graces we received guide where we are being invited next in our journey of faith as the Body of Christ? How might we extend ourselves, individually and as community, to be more inclusive?
Lord, as we experience our day, raise our vigilance to pay attention to those who support us and those who need support from us. Grant us your grace to never miss an opportunity to say thank you. Through an assuring word, through recognition of another’s work, through a smile that invites levity in the moment, let us be an encourager to others.
And as we move through the many routines of this day, let us hold close to our heart the most amazing commitment you share with the Father: “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team