“Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
We all know what happened on the birthday of the Church which we celebrate next Sunday on the Solemnity of Pentecost. As with the Apostles that day, so we have received the Spirt and have been consecrated so that everything Jesus had taught would come pouring out of us and into the world. As the Apostles were sent, so we are sent.
We have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit calling us to a life defined by the gospel and to strong proclamation of the gospel message to the world. Repent and believe!
As we listened to Jesus’ prayer in today’s gospel, did we believe He was speaking about us? If we doubted that, here is where we need to alleviate that doubt. Indeed, Jesus was praying for us, for you and me. He asked His Father to consecrate us in truth, the very Gospel, and then He stated that we are sent by Him.
For the Apostles and disciples, Jesus’ prayer came to fruition Pentecost day. There and then they fully understood their consecration and undertook living it. For us, Jesus’ prayer is not just some words from the past, but a living and active prayer that has consecrated and sent us. So, we must understand we are consecrated and undertake to living our consecration.
To be consecrated means to be set apart, to be fully dedicated to God’s Divine purpose. Do we think we are? Are we living that way? Are we grabbing the opportunities laid before us to witness to the gospel entrusted to us?
Think of the importance of the word consecrated – for it is the word which describes the greatest of the sacraments, the bread and wine mystically made the Body and Blood of Jesus. Consecrated. Just as a church building and priests are consecrated for sacred work, so has Jesus prayed that we be consecrated for His work.
Being consecrated tells us that we are kept in the Father’s Name, that we are all one, that we are partakers (sharers) in Jesus complete joy, and that we, like Jesus, bear the Father’s word – that Word placed into our hearts, minds, and hands in trust by Jesus.
We are that important to Jesus and therefore are to live the consecrated life.
John the Apostle understood what that meant, and he shared this understanding with us. It means that we remain in Him and He in us, that He has given us of His Spirit. It means we must tell people, testifying that the Father sent His Son as Savior of the world. It means that we who acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God have God remaining in us and that we are in God. Let us then be reinforced in how we live as God’s consecrated people.