Tuesday 23 May 2023

Today is Tuesday the 23rd of May, in the seventh week of Easter.

Tenebrae, directed by Nigel Short, sing the Shestopsalmiye from Rachmaninov’s Vespers. ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.’ As I enter into prayer today, as I enter into this conversation with the Lord, I too ask him to open my lips to speak to him, but first for an open ear to listen to him.

Slava v vyshnikh Bogu, i na zemli mir,
v chelovetsekh blagovoleniye.
Gospodi, ustne moyi otverzeshi,
i usta moya vozvestyat khvalu Tvoyu.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.

John 17:1-11

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

We get a glimpse here of the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father. He’s about to die, but what he cares about most at this moment is his friends. He prays for them, for us, to be held fast in faith, hope and love. How do you feel as you listen to Jesus praying for you?

Jesus prays that we, his friends, may share the same union and intimacy with God our Father and Creator as he does himself. Can we even imagine what that means for us? Allow the words of Jesus to resonate within you. How do they make you feel?

As you listen to part of this reading again, notice which words stay with you. What thoughts or feelings do they provoke in you?

John’s Gospel gives us direct access to Jesus’ thoughts and feelings at this most intimate moment in during the Last Supper as he speaks to his disciples and to his Father. What do you want to say to Jesus as you sit listening to him?

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, 23 May
7th week of Easter
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