Seventh Sunday of Easter – Cycle C
1st Reading – Acts 7: 55-30
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97: 1-2, 6-7, 9
2nd Reading – Revelation 22: 12-14, 16-17, 20
Gospel – John 17: 20-26
Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter (40th day of Easter) to the Seventh Sunday of Easter. For the readings and commentary for The Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, click here.
There are three consistent themes in today’s gospel; Unity, Divine Glory, and Love. The words are a selection from Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper. He begins by praying for the insiders, the people sitting around the table with Him. These are the same people that were told to love one another a couple of weeks ago. Jesus offers Himself as an example of that love; until death if necessary. He also provides an example of unity; just as there is unity between Jesus and The Father.
This unity that Jesus desires doesn’t come from just learning to get along with each other. It doesn’t come from a self-help book or a 12-step program. This unity comes down to us from the Father and the Son. They are divine gifts that flow through the Holy Spirit. It is much easier to be divided. Real unity requires divine intervention or a supernatural solution. We have to start with love between ourselves before we can extend it to those outside of our regular groups. Our response to that gift is to love each other (those in our group) which will become an example to those outside of our group. (John 13:35)
"This is how all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another."
This gospel comes to us in the space between The Ascension and Pentecost. The disciples are wondering “what do we do now?” We might be feeling that same longing. Jesus’ prayer sounds like His last will and testament. Jesus speaks of His hopes and what He’s leaving behind. The words from today’s gospel layout the plan. Jesus revealed God. Jesus was the presence of God in the world, and He continues that presence through the Holy Spirit. (More about this next week on Pentecost Sunday.)
We love each other because we love Jesus.
What does it mean to really long for God?
Do I invite God into my life when I pray?
What would happen if I did?
There is no handout for this week as the Catechumenate would have heard the readings from The Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.