Weekly Missionary Reflection
Easter Week VII, 16 May 2021
Acts 1:15-17,20a,20c-26; Ps. 103:1-2,11-12,19-20ab; 1John 4:11-16; John 17:11b-19
Normally you and I pray to Jesus or to the Father through Jesus. But today’s Gospel is about Jesus praying to the Father for us. This is a good news. Why? Because it is Jesus who knows us the best. He knows our needs and weaknesses, especially when He was ready to return to the Father, for His mission in this world had been accomplished. We are left in this world, but at the same time we are sent by Him into this world. For sure Jesus worries us, for He, Himself, had experienced the rejection and hostility from this world. Therefore, before leaving us, Jesus asked for two things from the Father, two things that we need the most in this “unfriendly” world. First, Jesus asked the Father to protect us, His disciples. Undeniably, this is our most basic need. In His life Jesus, Himself, had protected us. As He has returned back to the Father, now he returns this task back to His Father, the giver of the mandate. At the beginning, Jesus asked: “Holy Father, keep them in Your name” (v. 11b). At the end, He said that He did not ask the Father to take His disciples out of the world, but “to keep them from the evil” (v. 15b).
There are two purposes of the Father’s care: in order for none of us is lost (v. 12) and to keep us from evil (v. 15). We are protected by the Father “in His name”, it means through His presence among us. During His life, Jesus presented the Father among His disciples through His words and works. Now Jesus asks the Father Himself to be present among us. How? Through the Gospels, the words that keep preaching and guiding us, so we can know, follow and believe in the Father. By that way we will really find the true and eternal life, in this unfriendly world who dislikes us.
Second, Jesus asked the Father to consecrate us, His disciples (v. 17-19). “Consecrate” means to make His disciples the special property of God. Jesus prayed to the Father to always make us close to Him, the “Holy Father” (17:11). How does the Father consecrate us? Jesus prayed to the Father to consecrate us “in truth”. The truth comes from the Father’s mystery which is revealed by Jesus through His works and words. Why did Jesus pray for this? Because He left us in this world and at the same time sent us into this world. The christian mission is not easy. Jesus knows how easy for us to join and follow the world. Jesus realized how easy for us to be lost and lose direction. Thus, with the help of Jesus’ work and word (that is present in Eucharist and other sacraments), the Father will consecrate us: to make us His special property, and yet keep making pilgrimage to be His witnesses in this world. Thus, our mission remained down to earth without losing our identity, worldwide without being worldly.
(Hortensius 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:
The Finance: Let us pray for those who are working in Finance Dept. in order to cooperate with the government to manage the finance and protect the people from danger. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
For labors: May the government and entrepreneurs find a way to overcome the crisis of unemployment and do their best to prevent layoff. We pray …
Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please send St. Joseph as the patron saint for our labors, so they can perform their task in the family and society, and find happiness in their job. We pray…