Missionary Weekly Reflection
Easter Week VII, 24 May 2020
World Communication Day
Acts 1:12-14; Ps. 27:1,4,7-8a; 1Pet. 4:13-16; Joh. 17:1-11a
Jesus ended His long farewell advice (John 14-16) with a prayer (John 17) for those He left behind. The words and advice did not seem enough to “reassure” His disciples. So Jesus brought them into His glorious prayer. Nothing could be more calming the disciples than the Teacher’s prayer! Placed after the Feast of Ascension and before Pentecost, this prayer is as if said by Jesus on His way to the Father.
Jesus’ prayer is really intimate. In John 17 Jesus repeatedly greeted God as “Father”. Thus, Jesus’ prayer was not only begging, but mainly expressed His unity with Father. This is the first lesson for me! Prayer should not only be a litany of request and rolls of intent, but the expression of unity with God. When the heart is united: words are no longer needed, no need for a standard formulation, logic becomes irrelevant.
First Jesus prayed for Himself! This seems selfish, but it is not. He prayed that the Father “glorify the Son”. How? Through His cross! The cross is the path of glory, the way of the Son’s ‘exaltation’ by the Father. This is truly a ‘divine contradiction’. How could death be the way of glory? Because through His death, the glory of the Son from before the creation of the universe, will soon be restored. At the same time, the Father is glorified, because the Son has completed the work that the Father gave him. This is the second lesson for me. Pray to the Father to ‘glorify’ me in and through various crosses and sufferings. Cross and suffering should not be wept as a curse and burden, disgrace or failure, but be grateful as the way of glorification, the way to ‘resemble more to the Son glorifying the Father in Heaven.
In His prayer, Jesus admitted that everything in Him was a gift from the Father. His power, disciples, work, words, all came from the Father. This acknowledgment confirmed that Jesus was truly a messenger who came from God. Through Him, all the glory of God is revealed to humankind. This is the third lesson for me. Praying to acknowledge that everything in me comes from Him. Nothing in me that can be proud of in my prayer. Everything is from the Father and must be returned to Him!
Jesus prayed that His disciples “recognized” the Father and “knew” that Jesus was from God. Recognizing and knowing is not about information but about relationship. A closed relationship with the Father and Son. Accepting and acknowledging Jesus as a messenger from God, also means admitting the glory of the Father in the words, works, and especially the cross of the Son. This is the fourth lesson for me. Prayer as an expression of relationship with the Father and Son. Prayer is not a theory or theology, but self-authenticity and authentic testimony. It’s only possible if you and I experience and keep warming up the relationship with the Father through the Son. Therefore, prayer is no longer a formulation of words, but it truly bursts out from an always ‘in love’ heart!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Loyalty of the deacons: May the deacons, with their loyalty to the service of God’s words and the poor, become the symbol of an inspiring Church and arouse the spirit of the people. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Mary, Mother of Perseverance: May, in the midst of confusion and uncertainty, the Catholics are willing to emulate the Virgin Mary as the Mother of Perseverance. We pray…
Mother Mary is with us, to be united with The Son in creating the justice for our people. We pray