Reading 1 Acts 1:12-14
After Jesus had been taken up to Heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a Sabbath day’s journey away.
When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
How beautiful is it that the Apostles were bonded because of prayer. So many of us do not recognize the power of prayer. It is what makes us strong and directly connects us to God. It is what keeps our spirits alive and adds hope and peace to our lives. It is our souls’ oxygen. As said here, it unifies people through the Holy Spirit in each of us. Prayer brings God and drives out fear.
Reading 2 1 Pt 4:13-16
Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when His glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the Name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the Name.
This is such a positive way to look at persecutions due to being Christian. Our suffering makes us like Christ because He suffered. Therefore, we may rejoice even more because of the pain. God is with those that suffer for Him, and we should not be embarrassed. The Holy Spirit comes to those that are ridiculed and mocked because of God. We need to take this strength and glorify Him through the pain and confusion. Maybe it is because you are saving yourself for marriage, don’t drink, don’t curse, talk about church “too much”, pray in public. Whatever it may be, remember God sees it and will reward it, maybe not in this life but in the one to come.
Gospel Jn 17:1-11a
Jesus raised His Eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You,
just as You gave Him authority over all people,
so that Your Son may give eternal life to all You gave Him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know You, the only true God,
and the One whom You sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified You on earth
by accomplishing the work that You gave me to do.
Now glorify Me, Father, with You,
with the glory that I had with You before the world began.
“I revealed Your Name to those whom You gave Me out of the world.
They belonged to You, and You gave them to Me,
and they have kept Your Word.
Now they know that everything You gave Me is from You,
because the words You gave to Me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from You,
and they have believed that You sent Me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones You have given Me,
because they are Yours, and everything of Mine is Yours
and everything of Yours is Mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
Is it beautiful to see Jesus’ devotion to the Father. This is our Model. We are supposed to love the Father how Jesus does. He wants to do God’s work and be completely connected to Him. It is a complete, intimate love that only comes from having God intertwined in your whole being. The part about Jesus praying for us gives me chills. JESUS PRAYS FOR US. How crazy that He thinks about, cares about, and loves us so much. We are in the world while He left. We are called to be His representation while He is with our Father.