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Reflections on the Gospel for the Seventh Sunday of Easter - John 17:1-11

Before ascending to the Father, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed for the infant Church. The first leaders of our Church were just simple people who might have preferred to remain hiding in the upper room. They were afraid of getting involved. However, Jesus had every confidence in them. He could say of them, "I am glorified in them." Instead of focusing on their weaknesses, Jesus saw their possibilities and enkindled the fire of God's love in their hearts. He will do the same for us, if we are willing.

We, the modern Church, still need the prayers of Christ. It is so tempting to just mind our own business and keep a cool distance between ourselves and others. It is tempting to keep our faith a private matter, to just enjoy our long-time group of friends and not invite new people to join us. Christ expects otherwise. Every member is needed to make real the Body of Christ in the world, each one somehow making up for the imperfections of the others. Each one needs to ask himself or herself, "Can someone see Jesus in me?" If the members of the Church can stand together willing to forgive when someone steps on our toes, to welcome the stranger, to comfort the weary, we will shine with a radiance that comes directly from Christ.

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