Our Risen Lord prays for all of his followers (and for us) and commends everyone to his Father. Jesus protected and guarded them and lost none except Judas, the betrayer. As the weekday readings for the Easter season from John’s Gospel continue, Jesus teaches us that we who have heard his word are neither made for this world nor belong to it. We were made to listen to his voice and follow him through death into life – life eternal with him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. “But now I am coming to you,” he prays and continues his farewell: as the Father sent him into the world, so he sends us. With awe, we behold the wondrous gift he leaves: his Body and Blood, our everlasting Eucharist. “Your word is truth…And I consecrate myself for them so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
The Acts describe another farewell: Saint Paul speaks to the presbyters of the Ephesians, who have traveled to the port of Miletus to see him – it is one of his last stops on what would be his final return to Jerusalem. They wept in great distress because “he had said that they would never see his face again.” Paul foretold the end of his ministry and the end of his life. Arriving in Jerusalem, he was accused, arrested, imprisoned, tried, and convicted by the Temple authorities. As a Roman citizen, he invoked his right to be tried in Rome before the emperor (Nero, no less!). His Miletus prayer commends all Christians to God and warns them of the dangerous work they must continue: “Tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own blood.” So Jesus prayed to the Father in our Gospel: “As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.”
Let Us Pray:
As we work to spread your word, O Lord, your truth, consecrate us in the truth. Nourish us ever with your holy Body and Blood, Amen.