THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
CONSECRATED TO GOD
Today’s gospel: John 17:11-19
Jesus said that those who believe in him will go greater works
than he did, because he is going to the Father (Jn 14:12).
Jesus goes back to heaven but his work on earth continues.
We are to be his instruments for this continuing divine work.
“As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into
the world.” (Jn 17:18). Since the work is much larger,
territorially (the whole world) and with regard to the number
of people to be reached (all peoples), then Jesus’ disciples
are tasked to do greater works.
Jesus went to heaven. “And now I will no longer be in
the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to
you.” (Jn 17:11a). Did Jesus then leave us to fend for
ourselves? No. Jesus made important provisions for us.
Jesus entrusted us to the Father. “Holy Father, keep
them in your name that you have given me” (Jn 17:11b).
Jesus is God’s Son and he is the Christ. We too have
been restored as children of God and carry Jesus’ name
as Christians. Just as the Father took care of His Son, so
also does Jesus pray that God would take care of us as well.
This is very important. Just as Jesus carried out the plan
of God for the world, we too continue with carrying out that
plan. As such, we are important and crucial to God’s
will being accomplished in the world. If so, then we can trust
that God will always be there for us.
Jesus entrusted us with God’s word and consecrated us
in the truth of that word. “I gave them your word”
(Jn 17:14a). “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word
is truth.” (Jn 17:17). When we proclaim Christ, we proclaim
he who is the truth, and we proclaim the truth of God’s
word. When we work such that people meet Christ, we continue
so that they will live Christ. That is a life of obedience
to God’s word. As we make disciples of all the nations,
we teach them to observe all that Jesus has commanded.
Jesus entrusts us to himself, as he consecrates us. “And
I consecrate myself for them” (Jn 17:19a). We are consecrated
to Jesus, not by our unilateral action, but by Jesus’
own action. Jesus acknowledges that we belong to him. Jesus
himself allows us to walk in his footsteps. Jesus gives us
the great privilege of becoming his instruments. As such we
can look to Jesus’ protection. “When I was with
them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I
guarded them, and none of them was lost” (Jn 17:12a).
This is very comforting. As we face intense spiritual warfare,
we fight under the cover and protection of God.
God has done His part. We need to respond. Jesus says we will
do greater works, but we need to become fitting instruments.
How will this be?
we must know that we are in the world but are not of the world.
“They do not belong to the world any more than I belong
to the world.” (Jn 17:16). We are a people set apart,
a people called to holiness. Just like Jesus, we live and
work in the world, but we do not belong to the world. We are
citizens of the Kingdom.
since we do not belong to the world and thus do not conform
to the ways of the world, we must know that the world will
oppose us, and will oppress us. As Jesus avers, “the
world hated them, because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.” (Jn 17:14b). We
must be prepared to face the world’s hate, even as we
show love to those who hate us.
we must “be consecrated in truth.” (Jn 17:19b).
We must show the way and live the truth of God’s word
in our lives. We must obey all God’s commands. We must
always stand for what is right and just and true.
we must never betray the cause of Christ. Jesus himself chose
and appointed us. We must not disappoint him, by turning away,
by lukewarmness, by proclaiming another gospel, by remaining
in conflict with other Christians. Otherwise we will remove
ourselves from the mantle of God’s protection. As Jesus
said of Judas, “none of them was lost except the son
of destruction” (Jn 17:12b). How truly unfortunate if
we start out in the Spirit and end in the flesh.
we must maintain our unity with other Christians. Jesus prayed
“that they may be one just as we are.” (Jn 17:11c).
Granted that Jesus also came to divide--the sheep from the
goats, those who believe and those who do not, those who promote
his cause and those who betray his cause, we still must strive
for unity in the Spirit. Even as we have disagreements, we
must practice the virtues of tolerance, patience, forgiveness
We today are called to the New Evangelization. Jesus has gone
back to heaven, but he will return. In the meantime, we are
to work to prepare for his second coming. As we do our work,
we encounter the evil one, but God is there to protect us.
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world but
that you keep them from the evil one.” (Jn 17:15). Ultimately,
Jesus will also take us out of this world, and bring us to
Jesus has gone up to heaven, back to the Father. “But
now I am coming to you.” (Jn 17:13a). That is his great
joy. We too rejoice in Jesus, and in the privilege given us
to continue his work on earth. “I speak this in the
world so that they may share my joy completely.” (Jn
joyful and grateful hearts, let us be about the work of the