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John 17

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Lectio Divina John 17:20-26

ART MOMENT: Be Someone, Be One

Be (some)one. In a world of me, how do we exist as a we? How do we live into the ways we are unique and still unite with God & others? A John 17 prayer gives us insight.

THE BIBLE PROJECT: BOOK OF JOHNJesus came to bring God's love and the gift of eternal life to the world.Not only is Jesus the Messiah, but he's also the son of God who gives eternal life to everyone who believes in his name. We see this reality through the signs and miracles he performs. And when people question if he’s the son of God, seven times Jesus responds, "I Am." John emphasizes Jesus’ unique ability to give eternal life—something only God has the authority to do. He also introduces people to a new life in him. By believing that he is the Messiah and God's son, they have eternal life and freedom from sin and are empowered to perform radical acts of kindness, generosity, and selfless love as they live according to God’s Kingdom. The Son of GodThe Gospel of John emphasizes Jesus as God incarnate and the reality to which the entire biblical story points. John emphasizes this with his opening passages that states that Jesus was with God at creation and that Jesus is God. It's a bold statement, and John spends the rest of his Gospel account emphasizing Jesus' identity as God in human form.

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GUIDED LECTIO DIVINA The practice of Lectio Divina is based on the belief that Christ is truly present in Scripture and that the reading of Scripture allows God to speak to us. The phrase Lectio Divina means “divine reading” in Latin and is a fitting name for this prayer practice of listening to Scripture with the ear of the heart. The traditional monastic practice includes scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. In the view of one commentator, it does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word. 1) Opening prayer Father of our Lord Jesus Christand Father of all people,we believe in Youand we know that You loved Jesuswith a deep and trusting, lasting love.Let Your Holy Spirit pour out this loveinto the hearts of all thosewho believe in Jesus, our Savior and shepherd.Let this love unite us in one common bondof understanding and respect for one anotherand let that love lead usto live for one another and to serve one anotherfor the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. 2) Gospel Reading - John 17:20-26 Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: "I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them." 3) Reflection • Today’s Gospel gives us the third and last part of the Priestly Prayer, in which Jesus looks toward the future and manifests His great desire for unity among us, His disciples, and that all may remain in the love which unifies, because without love and without unity we do not deserve credibility. • John 17:20-23: So that the world may believe it was You who sent Me. Jesus expands the horizon and prays to the Father: “I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in Me. May they all be one, just as, Father, You are in Me and I am in You, so that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe it was You who sent Me.” Behold, here emerges Jesus’ great concern for unity which should exist in the communities. Unity does not mean uniformity, but rather to remain in love, in spite of tensions and conflicts. A love which unifies to the point of creating, among all, a profound unity like the unity which exists between Jesus and the Father. The unity in love revealed in the Trinity is the model for the communities. For this, through love among people, the communities reveal to the world the most profound message of Jesus. People said of the first Christians, “See how they love one another!” The present day division among the three religions which came from Abraham is really tragic: the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. And even more tragic is the division among us Christians who say that we believe in Jesus. If we are divided we do not deserve credibility. Ecumenism is at the center of the last prayer of Jesus to the Father. It is His testament. To be a Christian and not be ecumenical is a contradiction. It means to contradict the last Will of Jesus. • John 17:24-26: “So that the love with which You loved Me may be in them.” Jesus does not want to remain alone. He says, “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am so that they may always see My glory, which You have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Jesus is happy when we are all together with Him. He wants His disciples to have the same experience of the Father which He had. He wants us to know the Father and that He knows us. In the Bible, the word to know is not limited to a rational theoretical knowledge, but presupposes the experience of the presence of God living in love with the people of the community. • That they may be one as We are one. (Unity and Trinity in the Gospel of John) The Gospel of John helps us to understand the mystery of the Trinity, the communion among the three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Of the four Gospels, John is the one which puts more stress on the profound unity among the Father, the Son and the Spirit. From the text of John (Jn 17:6-8) we see that the mission of the Son is the supreme manifestation of the love of the Father. And this unity between the Father and the Son makes Jesus exclaim, “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30). Between the Son and the Father there is such an intense unity that one who sees the face of one also sees the face of the other. And fulfilling this mission of unity received from the Father, Jesus reveals the Spirit. The spirit of Truth comes from the Father (Jn 15:26). At the bidding of the Son (Jn 14:16), the Father sends the Spirit to each one of us in such a way that He will remain with us, encouraging us and giving us strength. The Spirit also comes to us from the Son (Jn 16:7-8). Thus, the Spirit of Truth, who journeys with us, is the communication of the profound unity which exists between the Father and the Son (Jn 15:26-27). The Spirit cannot communicate a truth which is different from the truth of the Son. Everything which is in relationship with the mystery of the Son, the Spirit makes known to us (Jn 16:13-14). This experience of unity in God was very strong in the communities of the Beloved Disciple. The love which unites the Divine Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - allows us to experience God through union with the people in a community of love. This was also the experience of the community, where love should be the sign of God’s presence in the midst of the community (Jn 13:34-35). This love builds unity in the community (Jn 17:21). They looked at the unity in God in order to understand the unity among themselves. 4) For Personal Consideration • Bishop Don Pedro Casaldáliga said, “The Trinity is truly the best community.” In the community of which you are a part, can you see any human sign of the Divine Trinity?• Ecumenism: Am I interested in ecumenism? How do I approach it with others?• Do I know the doctrine and beliefs of the Church well enough to enter into ecumenical discussion with others without misleading myself or others?• What limits do I put on ecumenical activity in my life? Should there be limits? 5) Concluding Prayer Lord, You will teach me the path of life,unbounded joy in Your presence,at Your right hand delight for ever. (Ps 16:11) This Lectio was directly taken from the Lectio Divina collection for the Catholic Order of the Carmelites.

John 17:20-26 Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: 'Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.' Visio Divina is translated from Latin as “divine seeing.” It is related to the prayer form Lectio Divina (divine reading). But instead of Scripture, this form of prayer uses visual elements to help set your mind on prayer. It allows God to speak into your heart through the image. You are invited to experience this image below through Visio Divina. You can also continue on to read a devotional related to the passage of scripture and piece of art. Visio Divina Questions: What thoughts or feelings does this image evoke? Is there something God wants you to see? To hear? What kind of prayer rises within you as you ponder this work? Go ahead and express that to God now. Be someone, be one,Painting by Patrick Howe (born 1951),Painted in 2017,Digital artwork© Patrick Howe Artist READ MORE ABOUT THIS PIECE OF ART.