From Miletus Paul sent for the elders of the church of Ephesus. When they arrived he addressed these words to them:
‘You know what my way of life has been ever since the first day I set foot among you in Asia, how I have served the Lord in all humility, with all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I have not hesitated to do anything that would be helpful to you; I have preached to you, and instructed you both in public and in your homes, urging both Jews and Greeks to turn to God and to believe in our Lord Jesus.
‘And now you see me a prisoner already in spirit; I am on my way to Jerusalem, but have no idea what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear enough that imprisonment and persecution await me. But life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me – and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God’s grace.
‘I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will ever see my face again. And so here and now I swear that my conscience is clear as far as all of you are concerned, for I have without faltering put before you the whole of God’s purpose.’
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Father, the hour has come:
glorify your Son
so that your Son may glorify you;
and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him,
let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.
And eternal life is this:
to know you,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I have glorified you on earth
and finished the work that you gave me to do.
Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me
with that glory I had with you
before ever the world was.
I have made your name known
to the men you took from the world to give me.
They were yours and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now at last they know
that all you have given me comes indeed from you;
for I have given them the teaching you gave to me,
and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you,
and have believed that it was you who sent me.
I pray for them;
I am not praying for the world
but for those you have given me,
because they belong to you:
all I have is yours
and all you have is mine,
and in them I am glorified.
I am not in the world any longer,
but they are in the world,
and I am coming to you.’
And now you see me a prisoner already in Spirit
Someone once commented to me that it is the bars which we set in our hearts that prevent us from seeing God. He was referring to the chains of our past hurts and pains that prevent us from knowing God. I believe that the readings of today allow us to discover the importance of entrusting our lives to God.
In the first reading, St Paul knew that he faced an uncertain future and that what lay ahead was the assurance that God would be with him at every step. This entailed allowing God to be the Master of his life which is the only guaranteed certainty.
The question we need to ask ourselves is whether we are ‘ok’ to accept this guarantee. It is a life-changing promise but one which allows us to discover the beauty of Christ. In our lives, we depend on confirmation emails, reminder messages or confirmation codes to assure us that our decision is confirmed.
Jesus confirms us in our lives but it is we who need to enable him to work through us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that you allow us to co-operate with you in our lives.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for those who are living witnesses of your Life.