SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR ‘A’
First reading; Acts 1:12-14
Responsorial Psalm; Ps 26:1,4,7-8. R. v13
Second reading; 1Peter 4:13-16
Gospel reading; John 17:1-11
THEME: FOR THEIR SAKE HE CAME.
In our human society, the majority of us are under authority in one way or the other. From time to time we are sent by the company or the organisation we work for to carry out a special assignment and come back with a report. Based on the report presented, the manager or the director will either send the same person or another person back to continue with the same mission in a different way on behalf of the organisation.
Last Thursday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. God the Almighty Father sent our Lord Jesus Christ into the world to make His name known for the sake of the human race. After successfully carrying out his mission, Jesus says in the gospel of today that he has glorified God and finished the work he was sent to do. That is the work to mend our broken relationship with God, to reconcile humanity with God, and to announce His Kingdom to all mankind.
After the Ascension of Jesus, according to the first reading of today, his disciples went back to Jerusalem and gathered in the Upper room praying and waiting in joyful hope for the coming of the paraclete, which their master and saviour promised that he was going to ask the Father to send. They are all possessed by the spirit of fear. The Advocate, which the Father is sending will cast out that spirit of fear in them, fill them with courage and confidence and then lead them to the complete truth.
Undoubtedly, it was for the sake of mankind that Jesus came into the world. He came to heal those who were sick in body and spirit and cast out evil spirits from those who are possessed. Everywhere he went he was doing good, but he never used his miraculous and healing powers for his own sake but for the sake of others. Our world is currently possessed by the invisible evil spirit of Covid 19. The entire world is worried and badly in need of similar healing powers of Jesus to put coronavirus under total control and eventually cast it out of the society.
Part of the mission of Jesus on earth was to set all categories of captives free. He set the woman who was accused of adultery in the gospel John free. When Jesus made the accusers realise that they were not perfect, they went away one after the other. Then he turned to the woman and asked; “woman, has no one condemned you?”. No one sir, she replied. “Neither do I condemn you”, Jesus told her; ‘go and sin no more’. (John 8:10-11).
Jesus changed water into wine at Cana for the sake of the wedding crowd and not for his own sake. He multiplied bread for thousands of people who had been with him all day long. After blessing the bread, he gave it to his disciples to share among the crowds of people. He did not put a piece of it in his pocket. At the institution of the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday, Jesus broke the bread and gave it to his disciples to eat. He only instructed them to do the same thing in memory of him
After completing the work God the Father sent him to do, Jesus prayed to the Father saying; “I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do”. Through his good works, Jesus made known to the world who God is like. When He was eventually hanged on the Cross, his persecutors laughed at him and said; “he saved others but cannot save himself”. The fact they did not realise is that Jesus came to save others. He did not come for his own sake. 1
The parable of the prodigal son, the story of the Good Samaritan, the passage about the sower of the seed and many more stories in the Bible, reveal the compassion, the love, the mercy, the kindness and the natural goodness of God.
The general works and examples of Jesus are a great challenge to all of us who are his followers. But the biggest daily challenge we all face is: whether to do the will of God or to do our own will, whether to be honest and just or to be a cheat, whether to be faithful and truthful or to be a liar. We pray that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Church will lead us to the complete truth to discover the reality of what we celebrate in mystery.
Fr. Bartholomew Zubeviel.