Jesus the good shepherd

Seventh Sunday of Easter- Year A- Be that true disciple, for whom Jesus offered himself to the Father, in his high priestly prayer.

We are presented with the High Priestly prayer of Jesus which reveals the Father -Son relationship, Son- Disciples relationship and Son- Future-disciples relationship. In this prayer Jesus prays as priest and victim. As priest and victim, he offers himself to the eternal Father on the altar of the Cross for the salvation of humanity. In this, He prays: “Glorify thy Son, by signs and miracles, lest dying so disgraceful a death, I seem to be no more than another man: that thy Son may glorify thee, that my death may make thee praised and glorified. Jesus’ death would make the Father known and offer eternal life to all who believe.

As our Head, Jesus desires special graces and assistance for His Apostles to discharge their duties. He also prays for Trinitarian unity for all those, who would believe in him and become the members of His Body. 

As members of His Body, the Church, we share in the Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ as well as in His sufferings. We form one body with all who believe in Him. Now that He has been glorified through His Resurrection and ascension into heaven, we constitute that apostolic Church that gathered in the company of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cenacle in Jerusalem praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower them to go out and bear witness to Christ. Between now and Pentecost, next Sunday, the Church is at prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to come mightily upon us. Our Blessed Mother, Mary who prayed with and for the Apostles is also in our midst praying with us and for us.

The Paraclete promised by Jesus to His Apostles is of vital importance.  In the Greek Court, this is the legal adviser who defends the one who stands trial. In our case as Christians, He is the comforter or the advocate. He replicates the life of Christ in us and helps us to continue his divine Mission on earth. In difficult times, he defends us; limited by our inability to understand, he reminds us of all that Jesus has taught us. As we do not know how to pray, he inspires us and makes our prayers intelligible before God. He prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us. This spirit of truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors, through all generations.  He remains with each and every-one of us for- ever. There is no greater happiness or security for the faithful, than to have this divine promise, the Spirit of truth, to remain with the Church for ever, to protect her, and preserve her from all errors and heresies. The promise of the Holy Spirit is made to the apostles and their successors.  It is attached to their office perpetually. That is why the Holy Spirit perpetually watches over the Catholic Church, and preserves her from both open and secret attacks of her enemies.

In our second reading today, St. Peter wants us to understand that the lives of Christians inevitably provoke hostility and persecution against them. Yet that reaction of the world should not occasion surprise but rather rejoicing. As Jesus Christ did, the Christians are to entrust their future to their creator. In this situation, we need the Holy Spirit to turn our sorrows into joy. Let us prepare well prayerfully for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Let us be those disciples Jesus prayed for, by deepening our devotion to Mary, Mother of God; the Mother of the Church and the queen of the Apostles. With her and with the Apostles, let us make novena prayers asking the Holy Spirit to come upon us and upon the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in us all, the fire of love. Let us ask for his seven-fold gifts, so that our lives will bear fruits of love.