18.05.10 PRAYING

Posted under Reflections on May 18th, 2010 by

When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. "I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me… (Jn 17:1-11)


Jesus is praying. Prayer is a mystery. No one can penetrate the one who is praying except the one who is doing it. The prayer that is recited, sung can be witnessed and judged. But the praying itself cannot be penetrated. Praying is a relationship between the Father and the one who is praying. Gospels bear witness to Jesus that he prayed. But they do not tell us how he prayed or what he prayed. We may get a glimpse of it here.

Here, in this section, the prayer seems to be a celebration. Jesus is celebrating because his work is completed. All, what the Father had asked him to say and do Jesus has completed. There is a sense of completion and fulfillment.

This leads to the next section of prayer which is a request. Jesus requests that he be exalted, glorified and lifted up. He should be lifted up to the right side of the Father. This is the position, according to the Jewish tradition, that the Messiah is suppose to attain. The Messiah will rule a kingdom that stretches from sea to sea, from ‘River’ to ‘the ends of the earth’ (Psalm 72.8). This is the prayer in which we are called to join in.



17.05.10 NEW REALITY

Posted under Reflections on May 16th, 2010 by

His disciples said, "Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God."  Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now?  Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." (Jn 16:29-33)


Jesus says that the disciples will be scattered to their own homes and they will all leave Jesus alone. The situation which Jesus is about to face is going to leave the disciples in panic and flight. They will be like sheep without a shepherd. And Jesus, the shepherd, will face the enemy alone. But he will not be alone, because the Father is with him.

Jesus says this because the disciples should have peace in him. This peace is not a detached, philosophical attitude. It is not an attitude that says that nothing more can be done so accept the grim reality. The peace which Jesus speaks about is a strong belief that Jesus is going to win. That is why Jesus says that ‘I have conquered the world.’

The world that will hate, persecute and ridicule the disciples will be defeated. Jesus through his death and resurrection has established a new reality. It is not just an example or model. It is a new reality, a new creation. Everything in the world will become a new reality, will become a new creation. 

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