The Good News for the day, May 16, 2018
Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter (299)
Continuing His prayer, Jesus says: “Holy Father, hold onto the members of your family, the ones you have given me so that they may be together—the way we are, you and I. While I have been with them I protected them as The Family you gave me; I have guarded them; none of them has gone lost except the ruined son (for Biblical fulfillment). Now, though, Father, I am coming to you. I am saying these things in the world so that these followers can completely share my happiness. I have provided them with your message—and the world has spurned them, because they just don’t belong to the world—any more than I do. I’m not asking You to take them out of the world but only that You shield them from wrong. They don’t belong to the world any more than I do. Keep them sacred—distinct—in the truth. Your message is the truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them out into the world. For them I set myself apart as sacred, so that they also may become distinctly sacred in truth.” (John 17)
The language of Jesus is rich with subtle layers of meaning—the kind of thing you expect from someone leaving people he loves—not just the people in front of him—but you. He is trying to tell you more than what he is telling you.
You are in the world, but not of the world. You have heard His message—and hearing it, you have to carry it out into a world that is going to hate & spurn you for offering it. Your Prayer in the Family of God is necessary because prayer is what shields you from drifting into what is “wrong.”
You are to be distinct—different—from the world and its culture. That is the real meaning of “sacred” and “holy”—not that you do pious religious rituals, say a lot of prayers, or preach or tell people how morally good you are (and dthey aren’t—no. “sacredness” means that you act differently day to day. You don’t accept what people around you say or do—you are someone who makes up your own conscience.
What you do that is Jesus-like as a habit, moment to moment—that is what makes you different from everybody else. You are truthful. You sacrifice your self, as He has done. You heal, forgive, serve, and feed others any way you can. You don’t so much talk as do. The message, in the end, the Word of God—is wordless. It is the truth of your goodness, the life of loving others generously, respectfully, the joy of self-denial, and the acceptance of God’s world—the Bigness of that Beauty as God great Gift to you.