Homily for Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter

In our Scripture readings today, we hear some “famous last words.” They come to us from St. Paul and from Jesus. Each one proclaims that the bulk of his work is done. St. Paul is about to go to Jerusalem and prays that, if he comes out of the city alive, he will travel to Rome, and then bring the Gospel to Spain. Jesus states that He has completed the work given to Him by His Father and prays: “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son.” St. Paul gives advice about the duties of pastors and religious leaders, and Jesus prays for them and for all who will join them in the work of ministry in future ages.

Both the sermon of St. Paul and the prayer of Jesus focus on the future with peaceful faith, and both openly say that they have done their best in their work. St. Paul says, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came (here). I served the LORD with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me.” Jesus affirms the identity of his friends, saying to His Father, “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.” St. Paul faces an uncertain future, with the prospect of prison awaiting him in Jerusalem. Jesus does not foretell exactly what lies ahead; He simply prays that His disciples will continue to be faithful to Him and to His teaching.

Our situation today, as priests, religious, and committed lay people is no different. We, too, should face the uncertain future with faith and peace, for when we finish the work given to us by the Father, God will take us to Himself.+

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