Seventh Sunday of Easter Year B
16 May 2021
“And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.”
In His Last Supper discourse to His disciples, Jesus told them: “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.” Jn 14:18. They will not be orphans after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. In today’s gospel (Jn. 17:11-19) Jesus prays to the Father that all His apostles will be kept in Father’s name and be one with Him and the Father: “And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.” Jn. 17:11 Jesus will not leave all His followers orphans as He has sacrificed His life for them and they are one with Him and the Father.
“Begotten of God”
Throughout this Last Supper discourse, which is Jesus’ “Last Will and Testament” to his apostles and disciples, Jesus wants them to have joy: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled.” Jn. 15:11. This joy is only possible if we keep His commandments and He abides in us: “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father's commandments, and do abide in his love.” Jn. 15:10 If Jesus abides in us, we will be filled with His sanctifying grace and His virtues. St. John tells us in today’s Epistle ((I Jn. 4:11-16) that we will be filled with His love for one another because Jesus is love itself: “...for God is charity (love).” I Jn. 4:8. “My dearest, if God hath so loved us; we also ought to love one another.” I Jn. 4: 11 By loving our neighbour, we become begotten children of God who abides in us: “ “If we love one another, God abideth in us, and his charity is perfected in us.” I Jn. 4:12
The Misbegotten of Our World
The greatest American playwright, Eugene O’Neill, who was a Catholic, wrote “Moon for the Misbegotten,” a sequel to his autobiographical play, “Long Day’s Journey into Night. In the former play, he depicts several characters who are without love for God and neighbour. They are misbegotten souls who plot and scheme to overcome their human condition. Jim Tyrone, the protagonist, is a dead man incapable of love who is constantly haunted and tormented with guilt over his mother’s death after her life-long addiction to her morphine medicine He is typical of the many in this world who are without joy and love which can only be given to us by God’s grace. So many souls, who live disjointed lives without God, believe that one religion is as good as another. They do not love God nor keep God’s commandments. When the effects of sin occur in their lives, they become depressed and without any hope. It is for these souls that Jesus prays in today’s gospel: “And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled.” Jn. 17: 11-12. Judas, “the son of perdition,” who betrayed Jesus was the only apostle who was lost. He was the misbegotten soul of whom Jesus commented: “...but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.” Mt. 26:24 Judas and all who fail to love God and their fellow man are the misbegotten souls who would have been if they had never been born for they will be lost souls in hell for all eternity.
Sanctified in Truth
Today’s gospel from Jesus’ Last Supper discourse is a prayer for His Apostles who believe and follow Him. Jesus prays to His Father that they may have the same joy that in Him and the Father: “And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.” Jn. 17:13 Jesus wants His Apostles and all those who believe in Him to be kept from evil and sanctified in His truth: “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. Jn. 17:15-17 All who believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized in the Holy Spirit are begotten in the love of Jesus Christ and will be saved; Jesus had told Nicodemus that it was important for to be born again (begotten) to enter the kingdom of heaven: “Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 Those who have “born again” (begotten) of the Holy Spirit are those who love God and their neighbour as Jesus had commanded His followers. Those who do not keep the commandments and are lost in hell for all eternity are the misbegotten souls who would have been better off if they had never been born.