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Gospel reflection

May 12, 2024: Seventh Sunday of Easter

Gospel: John 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.”


In this section from John’s Gospel, Jesus prays to the Father before his arrest and crucifixion. He prays for the same strength and protection he has received from the Father to now be given to his disciples who have already faced rejection and ridicule with more to come.

But Jesus knows he will not be physically present with them to help them stand up to the trials to come that will be worse than what they have already experienced, so he asks the Father to protect them. Not to take them out of the world but to advocate that they be protected from the evils of the world.

Few people live into adulthood without experiencing loss. The disciples are about to experience the catastrophic loss of Jesus. The Spirit will come to help give them courage but they don’t yet know that.

What they will soon learn is that the intimate bonds of proximate friendship with Jesus are about to be shattered for them. They will need all the strength and courage possible.

This legacy of care and concern from God is ours as well.

Through continual reading and study of Scripture we come to know Jesus and his deep and complete love and care for us.

We are in the world but can be protected from it by deeply uniting with Jesus as our Lord, friend and protector. God is love and those who abide in love abide in God.


Strengthening our faith through the reading and study of Scripture and through prayer deepens our relationship with God and helps us to remain with God in love.

Our faith becomes deeper and we are able to see the work of God in our midst and to recognize God in each other.

It takes work and effort on our part to achieve a close relationship with God. But don’t we work at deepening relationships with the important people in our lives? Isn’t God important in our lives?

Read scripture regularly, find a good Scripture commentary to help understand what you read, or someone to help guide you. In this world of amazingly fast communication there are many good resources available.

Ask your pastor or religious education office for recommendations and check your parish library. A relationship worth having is one worth fostering and working on.

What relationship can be more important than our personal relationship with God, especially in our troubled world?

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Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker was taught by the Sisters of Providence at St. Polycarp School in Somerville, MA. A Providence Associate since 2010, Lorraine has served on the Congregation Peace with Justice Committee (currently Justice Coordinating Commission). A retired Naval Officer, Lorraine lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state where she is active in her parish, St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, and in the local fiber art community.

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