Monday, May 14, 2012

Gospel for Sunday 20 May 2012

John 17.6-19               Looking up to heaven, Jesus prayed, "I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth."

1 comment:

  1. Depending on which commentator you read, Jesus spent somewhere between two and three years wandering around the Middle East teaching, preaching, healing, casting our demons, going to dinner parties, violating social convention, even raising people from the dead. By all accounts, he did not conform to the status quo. And at the end of those years he had twelve disciples. Just twelve. No wonder Jesus called them his friends and decided to pray for them before he left. Jesus knew that just as God the Father had sent him to be and to promise an alternate reality so too was he sending the disciples to expose the fear and darkness and sin of the world and offer the promise of a new kind of life grounded in love, the unconditional and unearned love of all people.

    Jesus wanted nothing less than radical culture change. No wonder there were only twelve disciples. It’s hard to swim upstream, to join the band that breaks with convention and chooses an alternate reality. It is hard to be hated for being different or even hanging out with someone who is different. Jesus knew this from the inside out. He knew that he was leaving his friends in a world that would hate them as much as it hated him, in a world that would choose condemnation and fear rather than compassion and love. So he prayed for his friends.

    But what does all that have to do with us today? When I listen to the news reports of the great divide among the people of the United States in response to President Obama’s support of marriage between people who love one another and are of the same sex I realize things have not changed much in the last two thousand years. We would rather condemn our sisters and brothers who are different from us than to follow the second and great commandment, to love one another as Christ has loved us.

    Today I want to join Jesus and say a prayer for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who are willing to proclaim their love right smack in the midst of a world that condemns their love and degrades their personhood. I thank God for sending them into the world to reveal love not bound by social convention or gender. I thank God for giving them the courage to break with convention and claim an alternate reality. I pray that God will protect and guard our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters, “so that they may have (Christ’s) joy made complete in themselves.” I pray “that they also may be sanctified in truth;" truth that love prevails over fear and that all love is sacred.