Reflecting on Our Journey
Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 20, 2012
In this weekend's Gospel Jesus has a very interesting conversation with His Father. A little background will be helpful in understanding this prayer. John's Gospel is unique compared to the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Tradition tells us that the Fourth Gospel was written many years after the first three. This is significant on a variety of levels but perhaps most in the way that John depicts Jesus.
As the early Church grew and became more established it attracted the attention of those who were not true believers. Frequent attacks on the Church came in numerous forms. Debate as to who Jesus truly was often appeared at the core of these controversies. Divine, human, both? It was great fodder for those who sought to control the hearts and minds of Jesus' followers.
Starting with the first verse John makes it very clear who Jesus is.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Personally, I love the way in which John uses the same three words to open his Gospel that open the Old Testament scriptures. Is there any doubt that John is clearly establishing Jesus' divinity? Now, let's jump ahead a few verses and look at another passage. In verse 14 of the first chapter John says,
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
Jesus, the Word, becomes a man. John clearly establishes Jesus' humanity.
This is important to remember as we reflect on this weekend's Gospel. Take a minute to read it through while keeping Jesus' divinity AND humanity in mind.
Did you click? I hope you did because reading John's Gospel in this context makes all the difference. So much so that I pray as you do so that the Holy Spirit will,
"Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth."
NOTE: There are optional readings this weekend because we celebrate the Ascension. Our Diocese chooses the regular Seventh Sunday of Easter readings so that is the one referenced here in the above reflection. The Faith Connection
for this week focuses on the Ascension reading so you may want to read through it as well.