Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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The Jews celebrate the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 17, 11-19

I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us.

While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name. I have watched over them and not one is lost except one who was destined to be lost, and this was to fulfil the scriptures.

But now I am coming to you and I say these things in the world to share my joy with them to the full.

I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world.

I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One.

They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,

and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord has just invoked the Father that he protect the disciples he gathered. Until now he was with them and protected them. How many times he had to guide, rebuke or lead them on the ways of salvation. No one went far from him, but Judah. Now those eleven were left alone, without his physical closeness. He recognizes that they will have to face very difficult trials. He is afraid for them, because he knows that the bitterness of life can cast doubt on the Gospel and make the Gospel seem like something useless or impossible to live. Jesus knows that the temptation to walk on their own makes the disciples weak. Jesus can already see the fear and dispersion they will experience immediately after his capture. And yet he does not let disappointment and desperation win. The desire to preserve that little family prevails in Jesus. It is a fragile family, but one that is protected by the foundation stone on which it was born, that is his love. Jesus called them one by one; he chose them personally. Now He wants to protect them from the assault of evil. Jesus knows that the last word does not belong to the evil one - even if he tries to snatch them in every way. Indeed a struggle between the violence of wickedness and the strength of love unravels. The Lord knows that the definitive victory over evil will be obtained by giving his life to men and women and rejecting the selfish logic of loving oneself. This is the fight that will be clear in a few hours at the feet of the cross when everyone will shout at him: "Save yourself!" That is the Gospel of the world, the pretence of the Evil one. But that is not the way it is among the disciples. Jesus insists that they are in the world without being slaves to its selfish way of thinking. Indeed, Jesus chose them so that they communicate the gratuitous love that alone can defeat evil and death in every part of the world.