Seventh Sunday of Easter Year C
29 May 2022
“That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” Jn.17:21
In today’s Gospel (John 17:20-26), Jesus tells His Apostles at the Last Supper: “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. 17:20-26) Jesus prays to the Father that all His apostles will be kept in the Father’s name and be one with Him and the Father: “And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” Jn. 17:20-21 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 share in His glory: “And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me. Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.” Jn. 17:22-24 This glory 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 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. Jamie Tyrone, the protagonist, is a dead man spiritually who is incapable of love and 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: “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: 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.” Judas and all who fail to love God and their fellow man are the misbegotten souls who would have been better off if they had never been born.
To Be One in Love with Christ
Jesus prays to His Father that they may have the same glory as He: “And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: Jn.17:22 Jesus wants His Apostles and all those who believe in Him to be in His love and share in the love of the Father: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world. And I have made known thy name to them and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.” Jn. 17:24-26
The First Fruit of Christ’s Redemption
Today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (7:55-60) shows how St. Stephen, who is about be stoned to death for believing in Jesus Christ, already sees the glory of God in heaven: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55
The Glory of Heaven for the Just
In the Second Reading from the Book of Revelation, (22:12-14, 16-17 and 20), we see how the Apostle St. John reveals the glory of heaven in his vision of Jesus calling all His beloved brides to partake of heavenly glory: “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter in by the gates into the city.” Rev. 22:12-14
Salvation for Those Begotten of Holy Ghost
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 not been born.