Thursday 28th May 2020
Seventh week of Easter
Acts 22:30,23:6-11, John 17:20-26
For some days now, we have been reading from the 17th chapter of the gospel of John, which contains the series of prayers of Jesus before his passion, death, resurrection and his ascended to the Father. Some scripture scholars refer to this chapter as the priestly prayer of Jesus. First, Jesus prayed for himself to be able to go through his passion, secondly, he prayed for his Apostles so that their faith would not fail them, and they will be able to overcome the false prophets who will come when he has gone.
In the part of the chapter we read in the gospel reading of today, Jesus looked into the future and prayed for all of us who will not see him physically but will become Christians through the preaching of the Apostle. We are therefore blessed by Jesus even before we were born.
The most obvious part of the prayer for all Christians which is still very much needed in our world today is unity among Christians. Jesus had warned that we should be careful because when he leaves, many people will come and claim to be prophets and pastors, they will cause confusion around the place by contradicting the true teachings of Christ. This is what Paul suffered in the first reading of today, and this continues to happen in our world today. There is almost a church after every 5 houses in some places, with people who claim to be pastors, giving different teachings and condemning the teachings and doctrines of others.
As Christians, we are called to be agents of unity, not confusion among the body of Christ. Sometimes, muslims may even be more friendly with a Christian than a fellow Christian who is a member of a different Christian sect. Love is the answer, and the earlier we are ready to listen to one another and accept simple truths, the better for us to be united under one umbrella of God. There is also need to pray for all Christians, that we may truly be one in mind and heart. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP