Oftentimes, people post much of their personal news on social media sites. Photos of a child’s birthday, news of a promotion, travel photos, and the like. People also post difficult moments like the death of someone they love, a certain struggle they are withstanding or some other trying moment. All these messages are often responded to by “friends” on their media list. It is amazingly comforting to read messages of hope, strength, shared sorrow, encouragement, and companionship not to mention joy and happiness from friends half a world away whom you may not have spoken to in many years. In chapter seventeen of John’s Gospel, St. John the Evangelist shares with us an intimate prayer of Jesus. It is situated at that most critical time in the life of Jesus: the last supper. The verses we hear proclaimed this weekend are a window into the soul of Jesus Himself. They are preceded with the message: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours” John 17:9. Then (12) “When I was with them I protected them in your name,” (17) “Consecrate them in the truth,” (19) “And I consecrate myself for them.” Just after the selected text Jesus says: (20) “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Jesus speaks to God His heavenly Father for those he loves in this world. He speaks of His ongoing care and concern for them; that they be protected. Jesus speaks of consecrating or dedicating His own future life sacrifice for their benefit. Finally, in a verse not proclaimed this weekend, No. 20, Jesus includes all of us in His prayer; we who would come to know Him because of the faithfulness of the first disciple’s mission. Jesus prays for them. Jesus prays for us. Enjoy the intimacy of this moment of prayer. Other words of Jesus begin to ring in my mind bringing comfort and strength: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” Matthew 28:20. We never walk alone. Be strengthened.
TOLTON: FROM SLAVE TO PRIEST, the powerful live production performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented at Marie Maday Theater at Lyons’ Hall Canisius College on Thursday, May 24 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm. Meet Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest, in this one-man multimedia performance. From his dramatic escape from slavery to his courageous struggle in the face of prejudice, Fr. Tolton’s inspiring life centers around his message reconciliation and hope. This riveting drama is filled with all the elements of professional theater, runs 75 minutes, and is suitable for ages 10 and up.
Admission will be free-will offerings. For additional information, contact Luz Milagros Ramos at (716) 847-2217.
Learn more at www.ToltonDrama.com.