Seventh Sunday of Easter

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May they be completely one.

Today’s Gospel comes from what is known as the priestly prayer of Jesus. Chapter 17 of John’s Gospel is the Lord praying for us, and the focus of his prayer is that his followers should be united just as Jesus and the Father are one.

In many ways this passage is the basis for all ecumenical work and dialogue. How much do the divisions among the followers of Christ cause problems in trying to bring others to faith in God? But it isn’t only an ecumenical question. It affects us in our families and communities too. The prayer of Jesus seems to recognise that there is the potential for disagreement and argument among his disciples. The question that Jesus’ prayer seems to ask us this week is whether we can see what we have in common with one another first, before we focus who what we disagree about.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant/child is listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: ‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. (John 17:20-21)

  • Reflect on the fact that Jesus prays for you.
  • Who believes in God because of you?
  • Who should you be one with but are not?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about being one.

 

Monday.

Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. (John 17:21)

  • How does disunity affect the spread of the Gospel?
  • Reflect on the Father and the Son being one.
  • How does unity flow from being one with the Father?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about being sent.

 

Tuesday.

With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you love me. (John 17:23)

  • Reflect on the divine indwelling of God in you.
  • Reflect on how much God loves you.
  • Who does God want you to make the effort to be one with?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his love for you.

 

Wednesday.

I, John, heard a voice speaking to me: ‘Very soon now, I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to every one according to what they deserves.’ (Apocalypse 22:12)

  • What do you think you deserve?
  • What does ‘being with you again’ feel like?
  • What is the reward the Lord will give you?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his reward.

 

Thursday.

The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ Let everyone who listens answer, ‘Come.’ Then let all who are thirsty come; all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free. (Apocalypse 22:17)

  • What do you thirst for?
  • Reflect on ‘Water of Life’ – what does this mean to you?
  • What is the significance of the water being free?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his coming to you.

 

Friday

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice, the many coastlands be glad. His throne is justice and right. (Psalm 96:1-2)

  • What do you rejoice over?
  • Where is there an absence of justice?
  • Reflect on the image of God as ‘king’.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about what is right.

 

Saturday

The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord do not hold this sin against them’; and these words he fell asleep.  (Acts7:58-60)

  • What would you hope your last words would be?
  • How easy do you find it to forgive others?
  • Reflect on the journey from Saul to Paul.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his acceptance of you.
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