The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter is John 17:20-26.

Christ completes His Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After praying for those He has called to found His Catholic Church on earth, Christ prays that His Apostles and their successors who call men to Christ throughout the age of His Church may be unified with the Father and the Son.

With His eyes raised to the Father, Christ prays not only for the Apostles but for all future disciples they will bring to Him through the preaching of His word. The Apostles’ mission, and the mission of all disciples, is to preach Christ’s Word to the disbelieving world and to draw many men to God.

Christ prays for unity of those who believe in Him, that they may be brought to perfection by being in communion in the unity of the Father and the Son. This prayer of unity is a basis for the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. The Church’s unity demonstrates Christ’s love and is a powerful witness to bring the unbelieving world to belief. Christ gives thanks for the “gift” of the disciples. He longs for all of His disciples to be one with Him in Heaven where they will see the glory given to the Son before the beginning of the world.

Awed by Jesus ChristPerson of the Trinity, Christ is eternal, existed before the world began and speaks directly with the Father of Creation. Divine King, Christ meticulously prepares His Apostles to carry out their incredible mission. Divine Prophet, Christ has Omniscience that transcends time; He prays for His future disciples, knowing His Church will endure. Divine Priest, Christ bestows His glory on the Apostles.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Marvel at the truth that Christ has prayed for you personally as a disciple; He loves you personally for you are a gift to Him.

2) Despite the scandal of the divisions seen in today’s Church, Christ’s fervent prayer is that the Church may be unified as the Father and the Son are unified. As Easter draws to a close, renew your love of the Communion of Saints (CCC 946-959) and pray that Christ draws you and all men into perfect unity.

3) In John 17, Christ demonstrates the intimate prayer that He enjoys with the Father.  As an adopted son of God through baptism, you too may enter into deep conversation with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Pray to Christ to help you to grow closer to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit by persevering in prayer.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently