Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 29 May 2022
Easter Week VII
World Communication Sunday
Acts 7:55-60; Ps. 97:1,2b,6,7c,9; Rev. 22:12-14,16-17,20; John 17:20-26
After long farewell advice (John 14-16), Jesus prayed for His followers (John 17). Words and advice are certainly comforting and soothing, however, prayer is more affirming and assuring! What could be the essence of this last prayer of Jesus? That His disciples, in the past and present, to “be one” (v. 21-23). The Gospel of John affirms that the unity of the disciples must follow the loving unity between Jesus and the Father! How?
First, love is personal. The Father had given His entire self, life, and love to the Son. So had Jesus given Himself and His life to glorify the Father. Jesus affirmed His personal unity with the Father through a profound formula “the Father in Me, and I am in the Father”. This loving unity of Jesus and the Father was then sent to His disciples “so that they may be one, as we are one” (v. 21). In the Gospel of John, Jesus “loves” all His disciples, as well as certain individuals, such as the beloved Disciple, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and others. Love never stops only at the “love in general”, but always focuses and aims at a person, a concrete individual, with a real expression and action.
Second, love is relational and reciprocal. As Jesus and the Father have loved each other, so do Jesus and His disciples. He gave His life and love to them, He also called and enabled them (with the Holy Spirit) to respond to His love. There is a “chain of love” that is always emphasized in the Gospel of John: a loving relationship between the Father and Jesus, between Jesus and His disciples, and love among the followers of Jesus so that the others (“the world”) are attracted to believe in Jesus and become the “children of the Father”.
Third, love creates a “living unity” (communio). Commandment, word, and love of the Father dwell in Jesus. There is a living unity between the Father and Son. That is the “glory” that Jesus received from His Father (v. 22), as well as which He returned to His Father through His entire life, especially through His cross and resurrection! Likewise, the commandment, words, and love of the Son dwell in His disciples. That is the “glory” of the Father that Jesus shared with His disciples, through His entire life, preaching, and death! In turn, the loving unity of the disciples and Jesus has to be manifested in the unity of love among them. First of all this unity should be spiritual: the unity in faith to Jesus Christ. That is the essential element that unites all diverse disciples of Jesus. Nevertheless, unity in faith should be visible to everyone. Only in this way, our lives can become a living testimony as the followers of Jesus, instead of just the efforts of organizations or sects in attracting more followers and fighting for the glory of the mundane world.
Ut Unum Sint: “so that they may be one”. That is the prayer of Jesus which will continue to call and challenge all of His followers who keep on fighting and separating each other! Without loving unity among us, how could our mission and evangelization convince the world?
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
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 salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: For the faith of the youth
We pray for the called young people to live life to their fullest; hope they can learn to listen, to have deep discretion, to have the courage of faith, and to present themselves in the service.
For Indonesian Churches’ intention: To live the rosary
With Mary, we hope to be enabled to feel the simplicity and depth of the rosary and be willing to pray it for those who need our prayer.