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Communion of Love
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.
Opening Prayer: Lord, open my ears and help me hear and understand your words to your disciples. Help me listen to your voice today and be open to what you are asking of me.
- Communion of Persons: Jesus prayed out loud to his Father, and he gave us a glimpse into the depth of his Father-Son relationship. Jesus, God made flesh, walked on earth, but his heart was never far from his Father in heaven. They were continually united, heart-to-heart and Person-to-Person. Jesus asked his Father to “give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,” and the Son was glorified at the Resurrection. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), that outpouring of love that existed between the Father and the Son appeared as flames above the heads of the disciples. The communion of person is not only a lofty Trinitarian reality, but also one we are called to make manifest in the world. “Man and woman, created as a ‘unity of the two’ in their common humanity, are called to live in a communion of love, and in this way to mirror in the world the communion of love that is in God, through which the Three Persons love each other in the intimate mystery of the one divine life” (Mulieris Dignitatem 7). Marriage and family life are a reflection of the life of the Trinity, and the everyday opportunities that present themselves to do something small for a spouse, son or daughter, or aging parent are signs of that communion of love.
- Jesus Conquered the World: Since the fall, human relationships have often been a point of contradiction and division. The “world” that Jesus referred to in the Gospel is not the world God created in the beginning, but the fallen natural world that is subject to concupiscence. The unity that man and woman were called to is constantly at risk due to self-seeking and pride. “In the ‘unity of the two.’ man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist ‘side by side’ or ‘together,’ but they are also called to exist mutually ‘one for the other’” (Mulieris Dignitatem 7). The mutual subjection of one to the other out of love for Christ is difficult because we often prefer domination and competition. Christ’s followers are called to live in Christian unity, and not give in to the worldly desire to manipulate one another. We are able to live Christian unity when we rely on the grace of God.
- That They May Be One: The first of the four marks of the Church is that she is “One.” But this “oneness” is found in the unity of “the Trinity of Persons…because of her founder …because of her ‘soul’: ‘It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church’s unity’” (CCC 813). This communion of persons becomes the reflection of the Trinitarian relationship of God, for “man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion” (General Audience, November 14, 1979, St. John Paul II).
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, I want to discover the unity of your life in the life of my family and my parish community. Give me a sensitivity to your voice alive in the Scriptures and in the community of persons you have put around me. I know you are speaking to me in your word and in my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will listen to your invitation through the word to reconcile with someone I have been meaning to reach out to with a phone call or email.
For Further Reflection: Mulieris Dignitatem, August 15, 1988 (St. John Paul II).
Leah Nguyen, mom to six children ranging in age from nine to twenty-four, resides in Kansas City with her deacon husband. She graduated with a master’s degree in theology from Holy Apostles College in 2019, which helps her lead Bible studies in her parish as well as defend the Catholic faith when talking with her teenagers.