Devotional Thoughts for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost -03 Aug 08
- Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 17: 13-26
Dear and Respected Brethren,
In the first sentence of today's reading we hear our Lord's earnest wish and desire that His joy fulfilled in His children. What is Lord's Joy? He wants all his creation united to our Father in heaven. When we all could re-establish a permanent and eternal relationship with God Almighty, we also could enjoy the joy of our Lord. In verse 14 we read, "I have given them thy word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". When we come across this verse, we must examine ourselves, whether we are free from the closeness and friendship of the world and we are living away from the attractions of the world. Are we not under the bondage of the worldly attractions and pleasures of our choice? Can we claim that we are not of this world and we are perfectly like Lord Jesus? St. Paul asks in his first epistle to Corinthians (I Cori: 1:30) "But of him are you in Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption" Again St. Paul exhorts us in I Thessalonians 4:7, "For God has called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness". In Hebrews 10:10 we read, "By the which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all". The above verses reminds us to keep up the sanctification of our body, mind and spirit until eternity and to grow spiritually to the perfection by the acceptance of the body and blood of our savior whenever we could, with true repentance and holiness.
Our Lord is sure and certain that we need protection from the evil when we are living in the world. So He intercedes to God the Father for our protection. While we are engaged in the selfish desires and the evil deeds, we cannot escape by blaming the evil powers. If we want freedom for ever from the evil powers, we must long for it and must put an end to the friendship with the evil and selfish desires. In Galatians 1:4 we find an assurance: "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." We should not forget the truth that our Lord is trustworthy in freeing us from the bondage of evil and hence we are supposed to seek God's mercy and compassion for the purpose. In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 we read, "But the Lord is faithful, who shall save you and keep you from evil".
In verse 17 we hear the prayer of our Lord and Savior. "Sanctify them
through thy truth: thy word is truth." Here we are supposed to concentrate on three significant words, a) Sanctify, b) Truth c) Word. We all know what sanctification is. When God dwells in us after making our body and mind clean, it is the real sanctification. For the act of sanctification, God needs our participation also. Sanctification cannot be achieved by God's mercy and compassion also, without the co-operation of the faithful. We all are supposed to wait for God's action with true repentance and eagerness to achieve the blessing. Our Lord establishes that He is the truth. The words or promises of our Lord are not imaginary; they are real, genuine and unquestionable. Our Lord Jesus is the word of God, which has incarnated in St. Mary for the salvation of the entire universe and entire mankind. We know all these truths or we pretend that we know all these facts. Let us think how they have influenced our lives. Can we say that these truths have affected our lives? Do we give any importance for the truth or the word of God in our practical lives? Let us think again and again.
In verse 20 we find a prayer of our Lord for all those who might turn to the Savior of mankind, due to the words of the faithful on the world. Let us think whether we were able to attract a single person to Lord Jesus, through our word or deed or even though our perfect Christian life? Are we not supposed to care and attract the hundreds of innocent around us, who are ignorant of the word of God, which is the truth?
In verse 22, we listen "And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one even as we are one". Are we not supposed to have mutual respect and recognition? If one would honor another as the child of God, who lives in God and remains in the love of God, will there be any sort of tensions, quarrels or differences of opinions? Being Christians we often forget the truth that we all are in God and with God. When we would realize the fact, there won't be any sort of deed or word, which might spoil the peace of all. Our Lord sincerely longs to have us all together with Him. Kindly read and meditate verse 24. Are we really interested to be with Him? Mr. X might be happy to be with God, but might be hating the presence of Mr.
Y. But God wants Mr. X and Mr. Y and Mr. Z together with Him. Let us pray for the will of God. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". When we recite the Lord's Prayer every now and then, let us try to realize the full meaning of the prayer.
May God bless us all
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.