Meditation of the week

Consecration in the truth

John 17,11-19.

In St. John’s gospel, Jesus’ Last Supper discourse ends with a lengthy prayer. (17,1-26). In the Synoptic gospels Jesus prays in Gethsemane.  In 17,1-6 immediately preceding today’s gospel, Jesus prays that his forthcoming death (and glorious Resurrection) may glorify God, and then prays for his disciples who will be left behind, that they may be protected and supported in their mission, which is a continuation of his own.

In the Old Testament, God was called the “Holy One of Israel”, but here Jesus calls Him his Father, and has taught us to do the same.  Being true to God’s name means being faithful to their commitment to God and enjoying the unity that Jesus shares with God his Father. Jesus is about to return to his Father, but while still with his disciples, he has kept them true to God’s name and protected them from being contaminated by the world and its values.

What Wisdom in the Old Testament did for Abraham (Wis 10,5) Jesus does here for his disciples. He has watched them and cared for them, helping them to avoid the fate that befell Judas, who chose his own ways, contrary to God’s, and unwittingly, brought Old testament prophecies to fulfilment.

Jesus is about to return to his Father through his death and Resurrection and shares this joy with them..

Being tuned in to the mind and values of God will bring unity among themselves, while at the same time, alienating them from the world, whose values and ways they, like Jesus, did not share.

The world hated them, like it hated him, for not belonging to it or sharing its values. Jesus is not asking that they be taken out of the world but makes a double request: that they be protected from the evil one, – be delivered from evil as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer – and consecrated in the truth.

May they be consecrated – made holy –  by the truth and for the truth. They are consecrated not only from sin and evil, but also for the continuation of Jesus’ mission, now that he is going back to his Father. The death and Resurrection by which Jesus returns to his Father is his consecration.

At our Baptism we were consecrated in the truth of our faith and in a new relationship with Christ. We were set apart by him and for him. We were chosen by him and equipped to be witnesses to the truth of Christ.

In the Eucharist we celebrate Christ consecrating himself for us through his death and Resurrection so that we too can, through the consecration of the Eucharist, share in the fruits of his death and Resurrection.

Jesus said “all these things” to his disciples to “share my joy with them to the full”.  Could you be described as one who radiates the joy of the gospel to others by what you do and say?

Twice in today’s gospel, the disciples are described by Jesus as” those you (the Father) have given me.” How would you describe yourself in your relationship with the Lord?

Fr Geoff O’Grady