Wednesday Gospel Reflection
At the Last Supper, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, saying: “I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” These words of Jesus in today’s Gospel present a threefold puzzle to the modern world.
First of all, the word “consecrate” creates confusion: the word is vaguely associated with holy things like churches, but the idea of someone consecrating themselves is entirely opaque. Secondly, this consecration somehow bleeds over to his disciples, those whom the Father has given to him. Modern man does not need to receive anything from anyone; he stands on his own as an individual, as a free agent uncontaminated by religious folly or dependence on the opiate of the masses. Perhaps this consecration is a kind of infection of madness that started with Jesus and still afflicts his followers today. This would help explain the final puzzle: what does it mean to be “consecrated in truth”? Contemporary society has rejected the notion of truth and in particular the idea that there is a relation between the holiness and truth. Jesus knew this and so says to the Father “I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world.”
Those who have been baptized are consecrated in the truth by becoming children of God, a divine adoption by which they belong to God and not to the world. But it is so easy to forget the radical consequences of the washing of baptism. In baptism, we see the clear answer to the world’s puzzlement. In baptism we are made holy and dedicated to God, we receive the merits of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and we are incorporated into the Church, the pillar and foundation of truth. In this one baptism, we are all united in Christ and share completely in his joy.
As we await the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, is it good to reflect on how the Holy Spirit has been active in our lives by uniting us to God, by illuminating the truth, and by filling us with the authentic joy of the Good News. As the Father has sent Jesus into the world, so the Son sends us into the world to spread this Good News far and wide. How will you share the Gospel joy today?