Christ Lives for Us to Share God’s Joy

Christ Lives for Us to Share God’s Joy May 15, 2021

God's Joy
“Jesus Goes up Alone Onto a Mountain to Pray,” by J. Tissot. Brooklyn Museum / Public Domain.


God’s joy is our calling.


For the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26. 1 John 4:11-16. John 17:11b-19.


Last Thursday here we celebrated Christ’s flesh and blood Ascension into heaven forty days after his Resurrection.

Next Sunday we shall celebrate the day of Pentecost, literally the Fiftieth after he rose from the dead.

In today’s first reading the Word of the Lord shows us one thing his Church did between his Ascension and Pentecost.

But right before what today’s first reading tells, his Church went to the house in whose upper room he gave his Eucharistic Body and Blood to his Church the night before his death.

That first House-of-the-Eucharist was also where he went to meet his gathered Church when he rose from the dead.

Now after his Ascension, the men and women of the Church gathered in the House-of-the-Eucharist, and with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with… Mary the mother of Jesus [Acts 1:14].

Then, as in today’s first reading, Peter took the lead in the House-of-the-Eucharist to have God show the Church a new apostle to take over from Judas the betrayer.

Peter said the new apostle had to be one of the companions of the first apostles during all their time with Christ from his Baptism until his Ascension.

The new apostle would join the others as a witness to Christ’s resurrection.

In the New Testament beginning with what Peter did in today’s first reading, the apostles described their work as overseeing or watching over the Church.

Overseeing or watching over is the meaning of the Bible’s Greek word that gave us the word bishop.

So before Pentecost the Church already had the face it still has, that is:  men and women gathered with apostolic bishops in the House-of-the-Eucharist, all with one accord devoted… to prayer, together with… Mary the mother of Jesus.

Today’s Gospel shows even Christ as devoted to prayer with the first members of his apostolic Church.

In today’s Gospel, Christ and his Church are at his Last Supper in the first House-of-the-Eucharist.

And you and I of the same apostolic Church are now gathered in another House-of-the-Eucharist.

In today’s Gospel all the Church was silent as Christ lifted up his eyes and voice in prayer to his Father in heaven.

As you and I stood for the sound of the Gospel, we heard God the Son pray for us.

Holy Father….
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you SENT me into the world,
so I SENT them into the world.

The Father sent Christ into the world, and Christ sent the Church into the world.

Sent is the literal meaning of the Bible’s original Greek word apostle.

Christ is the Father’s apostle, and the Church is Christ’s apostlesent into the world to do what his prayer upholds.

And I CONSECRATE myself for them,
so that they also may be CONSECRATED in truth.

To consecrate is the same as to sanctify or to make holy.

It is to set apart something or someone for the sake of God.

God is everywhere, but is also set apart from the universe that he created out of nothing.

He is separate from the universe, before it, above it and beyond it.

Christ prayed not that the Father take us out of the world into which he sent us.

Rather, Christ prayed the Father to keep us from the evil one.

Christ prayed the Father to keep us holy, that is, to keep us in the Father’s name.

He prayed that we be consecrated in truth.

Holy Father, keep them in your name….
Consecrate them IN THE TRUTH.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated IN TRUTH.

Having been sent into the world, Christ consecrated himself to the Father through life and death.

The deadly might of sin separates us from God.

But by raising Christ from death in newly living flesh and blood, the Father showed that Christ’s faithfulness and obedience broke sin’s deadly might.

The Flesh-and-Blood Resurrection and Ascension of Christ show the consecrating truth that even our flesh and blood is made for the glory of God.

So the apostles giving witness to the resurrection of Christ are thereby also giving witness that you and I of flesh and blood are made for the glory of God.

When in the Eucharist we take Christ in his Body and Blood into our body and blood, we are to join in his faithfulness and obedience to the Father.

In the Body and Blood of Christ, we eat and drink a covenant to join him whom the Father raised flesh and blood into glory.

In the Lord’s Body and Blood, we are consecrated, made holy in the truth that we with flesh and blood are made for God’s glory.

Holy Father….
Consecrate them in the truth.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

It is God’s truth that the steadfast faithful will ascend to live with the Father in heaven on earth when Christ returns.

We will be one with Christ just as he is one with the Father in one Holy Spirit.

That is our consecrating goal.

We do well to keep mindful of it.

We do best to live as wanting it apart from, before, above and beyond wanting the universe.

In the middle of today’s Gospel Christ as God gives the reason for us to have that goal:  I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.

His joy, God’s joy.

The universe cannot hold God’s joy, but we will hold and share it completely if we abide faithfully for God.

God’s joy is our calling.


Turn. Love. Repeat.


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