Acts 22:30, 23:6-11; Psalm 16; John 17:20-26
The Gospel today is from the priestly prayer of Jesus. After praying for himself and the Apostles, Jesus prays for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may be one. This is a sad reality within the Church because its current state betrays this will of Christ: that they may be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. There are 30,000 different denominations in the world, probably more, each proclaiming their truth. How can there be 30,000 versions of the truth when Jesus said people will believe in him through THEIR word. The word THEIR refers to the disciples who were present at the Last Supper, the Apostles. It is through THEIR word that people will believe AND will be one. The teaching of the Apostles is the source of unity in the Church. This unity proves the Father sent Jesus. This unity allows us to see the glory of Jesus which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Jesus concludes in today’s Gospel I made your name known to them, and I will make it known. Again, the word them refers to those who were with him, the Apostles. The question is: how will Jesus make his name known, when he knows that night, he will be arrested and will die the next day? He will do this through those whom he revealed his name, TO THEM: the Apostles.
This is why fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles is critical to the faith of the Church and to us. There are many within the Church who propose their own truth by calling regional synods to distort the teaching of the Apostles. Catholics should resist these moves and call them out as evil. The sad thing is when we speak against these we are branded as rigid or divisive by the people who want to distort the Truth. But Jesus came with a sword to divide two against three, father against son, daughter against mother because Jesus wants us to choose between him or people who spread false teaching. I pray that people who accuse those who choose Christ as divisive will have a good reason to give when they come before Christ when they are judged. They will be held accountable for every careless word they say.
When we speak the truth, what happened to Paul in the First Reading will happen to us. We will be persecuted. Some have given their lives for the sake of the Truth. This is something we cannot escape but must prepare. When we are persecuted, we remember what Jesus said to Paul Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome. This does not literally mean we will go to these places, but what it means is despite the persecution we will encounter, we are called to continue, to push on boldly so we can bear witness for Jesus. While doing so, we take the Psalm as our prayer: Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. There is no other good, than to see the glory of Jesus, to possess Jesus when we see him face to face. This requires us to be faithful to him and the teaching of the Apostles, to stand with the Truth of Christ so his glory may be seen in the unity of those who stand in his Truth.
If you are confused as to what is the Truth of Christ, come to Jesus himself. Learn the Word he has given to the Apostles, handed down through the Catholic Church, by Bishops who are faithful to the Truth of Christ. Ask Jesus to reveal his Truth to you. Ask him to open your heart so you may be united with those who are faithful to his Truth.
Lord, I want to know YOUR Truth. Reveal whatever is wrong with my beliefs, that do not agree with the Word you handed to your Apostles. Give me courage to pursue YOUR Truth and accept it, because it is through YOUR Truth that I can see your glory. It is through YOUR Truth that I am united with you. It is through YOUR Truth that I am set free from darkness and can walk into your marvelous light, to see your power and your glory.