Daily Gospel Reflection – Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Bishop Robert Barron
May 25, 2023
Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: "I pray not only for these, 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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus prays for our unity with him and with each other. The Church is one because its founder is one. Jesus compels a choice precisely because he claims to speak and act in the very person of God. Jesus simply cannot be one teacher among many, and therefore those who walk in his way must be exclusively with him.
Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) commented that the opening line of the Nicene Creed, “I believe in one God,” is a subversive statement, because it automatically rules out any rival claimant to ultimate concern. To say that one accepts only the God of Israel and Jesus Christ is to say that one rejects as ultimate any human being, any culture, any political party, any artistic form, or any set of ideas.
A Christian, I would argue, is someone who, at the most fundamental level of his or her being, is centered on the one God of Jesus Christ. This helps to explain why, on the last night of his life on earth, while sitting at supper with his disciples, the core of the Church, Jesus prayed, “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one.”