Weekly Church Service – Easter 7: 21 May 2023


This is eternal life, that we may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3



O God, whose Son, Jesus, prayed for his disciples, to proclaim the coming of your kingdom: by your Holy Spirit, hold the Church in unity, and keep it faithful to your word, so that, breaking bread together, we may be one with Christ in faith and love and service, now and for ever. Amen.



This week:

  • Acts 1:6-14
  • Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
  • 1 Peter 5
  • John 17:1-11

  • Next week:
  • Acts 2:1-21
  • Psalm 104:26-36
  • 1 Cor 12:1-13
  • John 20:19-23

A Thought to Ponder

Easter 7 – John 17:1-11

“Father, I pray for those you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.”

Today’s reading from John’s Gospel is the climax of the Last Supper discourse: the “high priestly prayer” of Jesus. As his “hour” of glory approaches, Jesus prays to the Father for the unity of present and future disciples, a union rooted in the love of the Father and the Son.

In the first part of his prayer, Jesus prays that his disciples will be worthy and effective witnesses of the Gospel he has entrusted to them. When Jesus left this world, he had little reason to hope. He seemed to have achieved so little and to have won so few. And the Twelve – soon to be the Eleven – to whom he has entrusted his new Church are certainly not among the most capable of leaders or the most dynamic of preachers. Yet with so small a beginning, Jesus changed the world. As Jesus returns to the Father, he leaves a portion of the Father’s glory behind: the community of faith.
Jesus’ priestly prayer is a prayer not only for his followers at table with him then but also for us at this table: that we may be united and consecrated in the truth Jesus has revealed and that we may reveal to the world the love and care of the Father for all of the human family.

The Church as a community of prayer is at the heart of today’s readings: prayer that is, first and foremost, an attitude of trust and acceptance of God’s presence in the community, an attitude that is not occasional but constant and continuing, an attitude not limited to asking for something but of thanksgiving for what is and for what has been. The prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper and the prayer of the company of disciples seek not God’s acquiescence to their will but that God’s will might be done effectively through them.

In baptism, the Gospel first preached by Jesus and then by the Eleven is passed on to us – we became witnesses of the great Easter event and accepted responsibility for telling our children and people of our time and place the good news of the empty tomb. Not in words alone but in our attitude of joy, our work for reconciliation among all, our commitment to what is right and just, our simplest acts of generosity and compassion, do we witness the Father’s name and presence to the generations who follow us.

© Connections/MediaWorks


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