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

May 30, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

7th Tuesday in Easter Time
Acts 20: 17 – 2; Ps. 68; John 17: 1 – 11a

Jesus, the Son of God, by his divine nature and Paul, a son God by adoption, have a similar experience of a compelling attraction or delight.

Paul addresses the Church at Ephesus; “But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.” His words could be taken for a kind of mindless compulsion but the word in Greek means not only compulsion but also enchantment – what moves him is his profound affection for God in Jesus Christ. So much so, that he goes on: “…I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.” His priority is not himself – it is his life in Christ.

At the Last Supper, Jesus, with eyes raised to heaven, is compelled to declare, “Father…give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you.” His words, too, could be taken as kind of fearful compulsion because his hour has come. But that would be a grave mistake. If Paul was enchanted with God, taken with God’s call and love – how much more the Lord Jesus is infinitely, totally attracted to his Father and filled with passion that we should know Him, the only true God.

Surely, this desire that we know God is the same knowledge that filled Paul with a compelling, steadfast love to give himself that filled the Lord Jesus perfectly with the overwhelming desire to glorify his Father by accomplishing his work.

Like St. Paul we have been baptized into Christ, we are graced with a knowledge of God and with a desire, an attraction to our Father flowing from Jesus himself. For the grace to acknowledge this sacred gift but more, to live this attraction, this holy compelling grace to the full – is this not what it means to be baptized into Christ?