Saint for the day: Joan of Arc (? January 6, 1412 – May 30, 1431)
Acts 20:17-27 – Psalm 68 – John 17:1 -11
“I have told you all this that your joy may be in me and your joy may be complete!”
This section of John’s Gospel still has us at the Last Supper. We’re in what’s called, “The Last Discourse” with the “The Priestly Prayer of Jesus.”
What we have to remember while reading this section is that it was all written down almost a century after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It would be much like you putting together a story about your grandparents. You’d want to put things in some certain order so that the readers would come to know who they were and what they were all about. You’d be very careful to present your grandparents in a good light and highlight certain events and sayings that you thought important.
This is what the early Christian community did with the story of Jesus. Remember. Nobody was there with a tape recorder or cell phone camera recording these events. And the church was more interested in presenting a theological view of Jesus and His relationship with His Father than a day-by-day account of His activities. This is why you often find discrepancies in the Gospels around the actual events, sayings and miracles. That’s why John’s Gospel is more interested in getting across the “Trinitarian” relationship between Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
This is why we hear Jesus pounding away at the fact that He desires that we be one as He and the Father are one. It isn’t any secret that most of us are “fragmented” with our lives running is so many directions. We all need the grace to bring our lives into focus and see what is really important!
Years ago, in the late 60’s I volunteered at a “store-front rescue mission” in San Francisco’s Skid Row. Two dynamic, black Baptist ladies who taught me a lot about real faith and trust in God ran it. One of the other ladies, ‘sister’ Bernice Cunningham had a deep, but simple faith. One time, while I was serving up the hearty stew to about 80 or 90 “guests” some of the first who had gotten their meal were already coming back with their empty trays. One man had not finished his stew and, in flash movement, sister Cunningham grabbed the bowl, dumped it back into the serving pot with a quick, “Fifty years from now ain’t nobody gonna know the difference!”
That experience taught me an important lesson: we are so often worried about what will come about … somewhere down the road … when what we have to be focused on is this moment right now. How are we letting this “Priestly Prayer of Jesus” come into and touch our lives? Ty to focus on this “now moment of salvation” Fifty years from now ain’t nobody gonna know the difference!”