- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

June 5, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

7th Wednesday of Easter Time
Acts 20: 28 – 38; Ps 68; John 17; 11b – 19

Jesus gives His last address to the disciples; there is an unusual solemnity about this Passover celebration, surely they all felt it without knowing that His passion and death are only hours away.

Jesus’ gesture “Lifting up His eyes to heaven” speaks to His Father and the disciples are privy to a most personal and intimate prayer. On the one hand it is about them and how Jesus has ministered to them and on the other hand, it is Jesus’ personal account to His Father on the way He has lived His Sonship, how He has carried out His mission as Savior. Jesus, Son of God, holds Himself accountable to the Father on how He has done what He saw the Father doing, how He has said what He heard the Father saying. To witness His gesture and to hear His prayer, so sincere, so passionate an intimacy, surely touched these men graced to be present with Him. Hopefully, it touches us as well.

St. Paul is preparing to depart from the presbyters and the people of Ephesus and it too is a solemn moment, a distressing one because he told them “that they would never see his face again.”  But what he did leave with them were loving words of encouragement, of commendation to God and the lived witness of his own life.

In all this, St. Paul gives them an account of his own life, his response to God’s call and with that, he is teaching them that like him, one day, they will stand before God and give a personal account of how they have lived God’s grace. God’s grace is a serious gift and therefore one must account for this gift honestly and seriously.

For us here and now, we celebrate this most Holy Eucharist; we are receiving the redemptive love of the Lord, an extravagant gift. In a moment of intense intimacy we receive the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord, a most sacred privilege. At the end of this day, what account will you/I give to the Lord on how we have lived this Eucharist? “What return shall I make to the Lord for all that He has given to me?”