7 May – Seventh Sunday of Easter
Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’; and with these words he fell asleep.
I, John, heard a voice speaking to me: ‘Very soon now, I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to every man according to what he deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city.’
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to make these revelations to you for the sake of the churches. I am of David’s line, the root of David and the bright star of the morning.
The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ Let everyone who listens answer, ‘Come.’ Then let all who are thirsty come: all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free.
The one who guarantees these revelations repeats his promise: I shall indeed be with you soon. Amen; come, Lord Jesus.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them
and will continue to make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,
and so that I may be in them.’
Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you… that they may be one as we are one… so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.
The Gospel this week indeed needs to be cherished. Such desire, such great love, so precious, so divine. His love for us is so great that none of us can afford to be left out. The plea, a prayer for all of us to come together… to not just be united in our interests or personality but united in love. The love which Christ has given and showed us.
Many times we choose who we want in our lives, what we want in our lives, how we want to live. But, have we considered love? Have we considered Christ? Truth is, we see and go to where we can find “love”. We are selfish to only want to receive, whether it’s education, whether it’s the best deals, or opportunities…. we will only be a part of something if we are able to benefit.
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see Stephen, giving his life for the sake of the Good News. In the second reading we read of how Christ welcomes us and asks us to come to Him.
This unity, this love which Christ preaches is one of giving, of inviting. It isn’t about how good we are or if we are worthy of Him. It is a love that He gives simply because He loves you. The message of our faith, it isn’t just to receive Christ into our lives but if we’ve truly received Him, we will want to share Him with all. To be one with Him, knowing that He already desires to be with us. But greater than that, to also be one with all.
Let’s not divide but unite, for it isn’t about how good we are but about how great God is. Amen.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you… that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one… Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am… so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them. (Jn 17:20-26)
Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus for your message and for constantly leading us towards you. Thank you for constantly reaching out to us. Thank you for wanting to unite us all with you and your Father. Thank you for your life. Thank you for your love.