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Seventh Sunday of Easter: Cycle B - May 24, 2009

Seventh Sunday of Easter: Cycle B - May 24, 2009

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Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle B - May 24, 2009Scripture ReadingsFirst :
Acts 1:15 to 17, 20a, 20c-26
Second
1 John 4:11-16
Gospel
John 17: 11b-19.Prepared by: Fr. Stephen Dominic Hayes, OP1.
Subject Matter
 
 
The seventh Sunday of Easter finds the Church between Ascension and Pentecost, closetedin prayer, beseeching the risen and ascended Christ to pour down upon her the gift of theSpirit of Truth, who unites her with the risen Lord, the word of God who is himself all Truth.In the simplicity of God, God's truth and God's love are one; and therefore, the proof of thepresence of the Spirit of truth is the presence in the believers of the love of Christ that is atthe service of one another.
 
At the root of the truth of Christ is the right to the fashion of him come in the flesh; that divineTruth in Jesus Christ has taken human shape and form and life, and that the confession ofChrist, come in the flesh is the first proof of the spirits manifestation; the next is change livesthat flows from back in fashion as the lower for all God and neighbor which was manifestedperfectly in the Lord Jesus Christ becomes visible in the members of his Church.
 
The apostolic ministry-the new priesthood of the Gospel-in a specific way out to manifest thisunity of mind and heart which was in Christ Jesus. At the Last Supper, Christ will pray for hisdisciples that they will be preserved from the evil one, but not that they should be taken out ofthe world. They do not belong to it, but their mission is precisely to manifest in the world thetruth and love of God which has broken in through Jesus Christ. Jesus prays in the gospelfor a perfect unity of his disciples with him and each other, that the unity of the Church thatthey will lead and animate should manifest that unity of truth and love which Jesus has in hisown relationship with the Father and the people he has come to save.2.
Exegetical Notes
 
First Reading: This short reading from the Acts of the Apostles is heavily edited, leaving outthe retelling of the death of Judas, the betrayer. The passage serves to emphasize theimportance of the institution of about Twelve Apostles as well as providing in verses 21 to 22a specific theology of apostleship, and of the for Church' s foundation in the events of Christ'slife, death and resurrection. The specific witness of the Twelve is to be witnesses to thesethings, of which they have been parked "since the beginning"; the effect of this is to draw a
 
line of demarcation around the Twelve as the founding institution of the apostolic ministry. Itwould seem to cut against the application of the term of "apostle” to persons called by Christafter the resurrection, like St. Paul; the commentators suggest that Luke is working with adefinition of "apostle" which exists in the community already, which he inherits andpresupposes. Conzelmann (
Theology 
, 216) suggests that this preservation of the historicaluniqueness of the Twelve Apostles called by Christ provides for the ‘second generation”Lucan Church historical foundation for the Church of the present, guarding against theanarchy of unregulated charisms and private revelations (JBC 45:15).
 
Second Reading : The reading from the first letter of St. John makes a tight connectionbetween the act of faith, and the practice of love within the apostolic community. It is bycontinuing this pattern of love demonstrated for office in the events of the salvation historythat God is “seen’ (1 John 1:18) a lot of which claims to scene God but does not prove itselftrue by manifesting the law that is the essence of the divine life now shared with humanbeings is false and illusory. The proof of the possession of his divine life is first of all (v. 13)the presence of God's Spirit, known by its concession of Jesus Christ come in the flesh (cf. 1John 4:1-6), and secondly by the acceptance of Jesus Christ in his true character is Saviorof the world. “Without the reality of the Christ event as an exemplification of divine love, loveof bread or it is meaningless; joined to this reality, it truly shows for the divine presence in myhuman being. (
JBC 
62:25).
 
Gospel: This Sunday's Gospel is taken from the Last Supper discourse and specifically, fromthe high-priestly prayer with which Jesus concludes his Last Supper. It is unusual in that,although Christ is frequently shown praying in the gospel, it is rare to actually have thecontent of his prayer given in the text. The section proclaimed of mass is the center sectionof this prayer, in which he specifically praised for his disciples as priests, “Consecrate them inthe truth.” (v.17).3.
References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
 
 
CCC 737:
The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church,which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforthbrings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the father in the Holy Spirit. The Spiritprepares man and goes out to them with his grace in order to draw them to Christ. The Spiritmanifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and open their minds to beunderstanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ,supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion withGod, that they may "bear much fruit."
 
 
CCC 858:
Jesus is the Fathers Emissary. From the beginning of his ministry, he "called tohim those whom he desired;.... And he appointed Twelve, whom he also he namedApostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach.” (Mark 3:13-14). From then on theywould also be his emissaries. In damn Christ continues his own nation: as the father hassent me even so I send you. The apostles Ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesussaid to the 12: "he who receives you received me." (John 20:21).
 
CCC 860:
in the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted: to bethe chosen witnesses of the Lord's resurrection and sell the foundation stones of the church.But their office also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them always. Adivine mission and trusted by Jesus to them "will continue to the end of time, since the
 
Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the church. Therefore,... TheApostles took care to appoint successors.” (
Lumen Gentium 20).
 
4.
Patristic Commentary
 
 
St. John Chrysostom (
Homily 81
)
As the disciples were still sad in spite of the Lord'sconsolations, henceforth He addresses Himself to the Father to show the love which He hadfor them; I pray for them; He not only gives them what He has of His own, but entreatsanother for them, as a still further proof of His love.
 
St. Augustine of Hippo
(
On the Trinity, Bk. 4, c. 9 
) . He does not say, That I and theymaybe one, though He might have said so in the sense, that He was the head of the Church,and the Church His body; not one thing, but one person: the head and the body being oneChrist. But strewing something else, viz. that His divinity is consubstantial With the Father,He prays that His people may in like manner be one; but one in Christ, not only by the samenature, in which mortal man is made equal to the Angels, but also by the same will, agreeingmost entirely in the same mind, and melted into one Spirit by the fire of love. This is themeaning of, That they may be one as We are: viz. that as the Father and the Son are one notonly by equality of substance, but also in will, so they, between whom and God the Son isMediator, may be one not only by the union of nature, but by the union of love.
 
St. Bede the Venerable
(
in the Catena Aurea of St. Thomas.)
As if to say, The time is nowat hand, when I shall be taken out of the world; and therefore it is necessary that they shouldbe still left in the world, in order to preach Me and You to the world. But that you should keepthem from the evil; every evil, but especially the evil of schism.
 
St. Augustine of Hippo
(
Tractates 108 
) Sanctify them through your truth: for thus werethey to be kept from the evil. But it may be asked, how it was that they were not of the world,when they were not yet sanctified in the truth? Because the sanctified have still to grow insanctity, and this by the help of God's grace. The heirs of the New Testament are sanctifiedin that truth, the shadows of which were the sanctification of the Old Testament; they aresanctified in Christ, Who said above,
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
It follows,
your discourse is truth 
. The Greek is
logos
,
i.e.
word. The Father then sanctified them in thetruth, i.e. in His Word the Only-Begotten, them,
i.e.
the heirs of God, and joint-heirs WithChrist.
 
St. John Chrysostom (
Homily 82): 
Or thus: for their sakes I sanctify Myself
, i.e 
. I offerMyself as a sacrifice to You; for all sacrifices and things that are offered to God are calledholy. And whereas this sanctification was of old
in figure 
, (a sheep being the sacrifice,) butnow
in truth 
, He adds,
That they also might be sanctified through the truth 
:
i.e.
For I makethem too an oblation to You, either meaning that He who was offered up was their head, orthat they would be offered up too: as the Apostle says,
Present your bodies a living sacrifice,holy 
.5.
Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars
 
 
Ignatius of Antioch
 
( Letter to the Philadelphians 8-9)
: Certain people declared in myhearing, "Unless I can find a thing in our ancient records, I refuse to believe in the Gospel";and when I assured them that it is indeed in the ancient scriptures, they retorted, "That hasgot to be proved". But for my part, my records are Jesus Christ; for me, the sacrosanctrecords are his cross and death and resurrection, and the faith that comes through him. And

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