📖Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26; Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab (R.v.19a); 1 John 4:11-16; John 17:11b-19


The unity of all believers is undoubtedly paramount in the mind of Jesus when he made his priestly prayer in John 17. This unity is one that comes through our common heritage in God through Christ. As we gradually draw to the close of the Easter season, we are presented with this theme because that is what will guarantee the success of the task which Jesus gives us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19).

Notice some salient features of the pericope (John 17:11-19), which we are considering today. Jesus prayed that God may keep his disciples in his name (John 17:11). That name is the name that initiates miracles (cf. Acts 3:6) and gives life (cf. John 20:31). Jesus wants us to have life, to its fullness (cf. John 10:10).

Again, he prayed that they may be consecrated in truth. The act of consecration is an act of setting someone/something aside from others, especially from profanation. Recall that the people of Israel were chosen from among the nations on the face of the earth and, by that, were consecrated to God (cf. Deut 7:6-8). By the fact of that consecration, they became God’s special possession (Exod 19:5; Isa 19:25), and God fought for them against every adversity.

At this time that the human dignity is being threatened by the technological breakthroughs especially with the progress being made in the field of artificial intelligence, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his message for World Communication Day 2024, urges us to cultivate wisdom of the heart in the age of artificial intelligence. He observed that artificial intelligence (AI) is “radically affecting the world of information and communication, and through it, certain foundations of life in society,” adding that “these changes affect everyone.” Hence, he notes that “Wisdom of the heart, then, is the virtue that enables us to integrate the whole and its parts, our decisions and their consequences, our nobility and our vulnerability, our past and our future, our individuality and our membership within a larger community.”

Providentially, we are presently going through the Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that we pray for. Jesus assured us that whatever we ask in his name, we shall receive (John 16:24).

That tells us how privileged we are to be disciples of Jesus. Yet, there is a responsibility that we must uphold in order to remain faithful disciples – we must be in unity with others and possess sincere hearts. Those were the criteria with which Matthias was selected to replace Judas in the First Reading.

No one can really live in unity with others and possess sincere heart without love. God is that uniting force, and he who does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John 4:16). Jesus himself said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

The Holy Spirit is that love that binds the Godhead. As we await the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we pray that he may fall afresh in our lives, bind us in that special Trinitarian love, in union with all Christ’s faithful, and protect us from the manipulations of the world. Amen.

Have a blessed and lovely Sunday. Peace be with you.

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