Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
As a responsible Christian, we need to imitate Jesus’ prayer, desire deeply that the people around us be joyful and their joy may be full. Many of our contemporaries get confused with pleasure and joy. Jesus is pointing to us the essential resource of his joy; union with the Father. From mere pleasure to happiness, there is a process of moving from mine to the other. When this other is, DIVINE, then this joy resides in us.
Thus, there is a question of belonging and freedom. Once we become aware that we are children of God, thus, free, begins the awareness of the necessity of the union and the obligation of the accomplishment of divine will. In this accomplishment, we choose God, and ignore world and all those mere human values, which ignore the Other, GOD. It is in God that the consacreation begins and in this consacreation, the joy promised is achieved.
Action of the day: Be joyful.
“They may share my joy completely”
Fr. Thomas LANE
(Emmitsburg, Maryland, United States)
Today, we live in a world which does not know how to be truly happy with the happiness of Jesus, a world which seeks the happiness of Jesus in all the wrong places and in the wrong ways. Seeking happiness without Jesus only leads to deeper unhappiness. Just look at the soaps on TV, there is always somebody in trouble. The soaps on TV show us the misery of a godless life.
But we want to live this day with the joy of Jesus. Jesus prayed to his Father in our Gospel today, “I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely” (Jn 17,13). Notice that Jesus wants his joy to be complete in us. He wants us to be full of his joy. This does not mean that we will not have crosses, for “the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world” (Jn 17,14), but Jesus expects us to live with his joy no matter what the world thinks of us. The joy of Jesus is to permeate us to our very core while the superficial rumblings of a godless world should not penetrate us.
Today then let us live with the joy of Jesus. How can we acquire more and more of this joy of Jesus? Obviously from Jesus himself, Jesus is the only one who gives us the true joy that the world is lacking as we see in the soaps on TV. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you” (Jn 15,7). Then let us spend time each day in prayer with the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let us eat and consume the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let them be our food, so that we may be satiated with the joy of Jesus: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon.” (Benedict XVI).