Gospel Lectio Divina for 7th Sunday of Easter, May 29, 2022

Gospel Lectio Divina for 7th Sunday of Easter, May 29, 2022

By David Kilby

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

 

READ

Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

 

MEDITATE

I pray . . . also for those who will believe in me through their word

That’s us. Jesus is talking about the Christians who will follow in the first Christians’ footsteps for ages to come. We are all part of the same Body, the same Church. The words we read from John are the words Jesus is speaking of: a testimony of faith in the form of the Gospel. Our faith is sustained by his testimony of Christ because we are all one in Christ. As we read John’s words and as they fill us with faith, we become one with Jesus and therefore we are fulfilling Jesus’ prayer to the Father. 

I have given them the glory you gave me

In the Second Reading from Revelation, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Is Jesus then saying that he has given us this same designation, as believers in him? Are we really the Alpha and the Omega as Christ if we believe in him and become one with him through his Church as his prayer asks? How can this even be true? We are not God like him. We were not there at the beginning. 

When we receive the glory in store for us in heaven, all things will be revealed to us. We will be united with the Truth. Time will pass away. Everything will make sense. We will be in need of nothing. While we will never be as all-powerful as God, the oneness with him that Christ is praying for is a real possibility. God made us to be one with him, and we will remain unfulfilled until we are.

so that they may be one, as we are one

St. Thomas Aquinas taught that oneness is one of the five transcendentals, along with truth, goodness, beauty, and being. Oneness is often coupled with beauty since harmony and unity–attributes of oneness–are also attributes of beauty. God made us to desire him, to seek him, to seek oneness and beauty. These things are self-evident. Yet, we can become corrupted by the world, causing our vision of the beautiful to become blurry and confusing. When we give into the world’s counterfeits, we may think God is distant. But he is not. It’s just that our vision of him has become impaired by our worldly desires. Jesus prays for us all to be one so we may see with his eyes, and experience reality as God intended it. 

I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one

What the Serpent told Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a lie. He said we could be like gods if we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We did come to know evil, but all that means is that we came to know the lack of goodness because that is all evil is. Goodness is being because God is being and God is goodness. But what Jesus is offering, what he is hoping we accept, is union with God. Becoming one with him is the only way to acquire the perfection we seek. 

that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.

Love is the way to union with God. When we love one another we sense the presence of heaven within us. The world seems bigger and full of hope. Those who choose to love get a better glimpse of what heaven is like, because when we love we can see heaven all around us.

There are two ways to live: for yourself or for others. Trying to do both, I have found, causes too many conflicts of interest and just isn't worth it. When living for myself, I've found that I am insatiable. But when living for others, I realize the constant exchange of love that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit enjoy. When we love each other there is a self-sustaining energy that fuels our relationships. That exchange can go on forever. When we connect our relationships with God himself, the source of love, then we will really never run out. Then it is the pure, sacrificial love Christ gave that seeks nothing in return. We can connect our lives and draw from that font of love everyday, and it will sustain us forever because it is also the font of eternal life.

 

PRAY

Dear Lord,

Thank you for existence. Thank you for always being here. Help me to always recognize your presence so I don’t grasp for the illusions in this world. Just as Jesus prays, I want to be one with you. I want all of humanity to be one with you in heaven. I want to be united to that never-ending font of love and share that love with everyone. Help me to be one who believes. In Jesus’ name. –Amen.

 

LISTEN

Everything happening around us can be proof of God’s existence if we listen closely enough. God’s oneness surrounds us. He is everything, and yet nothing can contain him. He is more than the universe because he created it and is outside it, but he is also closer to us than our own hearts. God is one in the most perfect sense of the term. He lacks nothing. He is completely self-sufficient and non-contingent. When we unite ourselves with him, we are in need of nothing. So let all your worries go and come rest in him.

 

Kilby is a freelance writer from New Jersey and managing editor of Catholic World Report

 

 Glory to the Father The Son and The Holy Spirit