Sunday, May 20, 2012

“All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace”

“We are half hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea, we are far too easily pleased.” ~ C.S. Lewis

(Gospel text: Jn 17:11B-19)
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth."

We hear in the Gospel, from the last chapter of Jesus’ Last Discourse to His faithful “eleven”. Seven times in eight verses Jesus uses the word “world”. The “world” is definitely a place to which He has been sent and into which the Apostles are to go. Jesus has spoken to them and is speaking to them while still physically with them in the “world”.

The Apostles gathered together after the Ascension, but soon had to begin getting down and dirty and disliked to the point of imprisonment and execution.

There are political and social issues to which the Church is speaking and the spirit of the “world” is moving to silence its voice. It is trying to convince us that the Church doesn’t belong in the “world”; doesn’t have the proper values of the “world”. We, each, will hear these voices within ourselves and say, “ah leave it to the politicians.” Yes, this is partly true, but they need our voices as well. There is no more fleeing the “world” after reading this Gospel, after receiving the Eucharist and being encouraged to “Go in peace to glorify God in your lives.” Where is this service to be done? In church buildings alone, up and out of the “world”! No, I think we are not hated enough yet to satisfy Jesus and fulfill His prediction.

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