The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
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 your son 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.”
Reflection (Sem. Ernesto Sican):
Jesus prays to the Father in a very spontaneous manner. Here you can see how intimate the relationship between Jesus and the Father. This prayer reveals not only Jesus’ thoughts and feelings but also a revelation of both the Father and the Son. This sublime prayer of Jesus happened at the last supper, as a prelude to His passion.
The prayer of Jesus is not meant for himself. His prayer is for the glorification of the Father and for us all whom the Father entrusted to Him. It is for our sake that Jesus is praying and asking to the Father.
Human experience tells us that when a person is about to die, he is no longer concerned of himself but for the people he loves, the people whom he will be leaving behind. His prayer is always for the sake of the people close to him. The prayer of the dying person is an authentic and sincere prayer because it comes deep in the heart of the person. That is why, whatever he says, whatever his wishes, we always treasure and follow as much as possible because those last words are words of love.
Jesus prayed that we may be one as He and the Father are one. This is an important prayer not only for Christian unity but for all people of the world. The world is so divided and conflicts arise because people are not united. It seems that peace is so hard to achieve especially in a pluralistic and relativistic culture. The Church like Jesus is also praying for Christian unity because it is a shame to us that after two thousand years, we cannot come together under the one banner of Christ. Also, those of other religions are also our brothers and sisters and Christ also looks for them being the Good Shepherd. As Jesus prays for the unity of all mankind, let us also do our part to seek and build that lasting unity. Let us start by being witnesses of Christ;s love for all.