Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Devotional Thoughts for The Sunday before Pentecost

by Very Rev. Dr. Yohannan Sankarathil Cor-Episcopa

The Gospel reading: St. John 17:13-26.

The Gospel of St. John is the most precious book in the New Testament. 'It is the book on which above all they feed their minds and nourish their hearts and on which they rest their souls'. In St. John Jesus Christ gives a more complete revelation of Himself, and of God than in any other gospel. The fourth gospel has no account of the birth of Jesus; of His baptism; of His temptations; it tells nothing of the last supper and nothing of the ascension.

Jesus Christ and His disciples descended from the upper room and headed to the Garden of Gethsemane which is located on or in the vicinity of Mount Olive. Jesus has often met with His apostles here amid the olive trees. Jesus instructed His disciples to stay near the garden's entrance "sit down here while I go over there and pray" He called Peter, James and John to go farther into the garden. Jesus was so grieved, "my soul is deeply grieved, even to death". He told the three disciples "stay here and keep on the watch with me". Going a little way forward He knelt down, lifted up His eyes to heaven and began to pray, saying, "Oh my Father, the hour has come..."

St. John chapter 17 is a unique one. That is, 'the High Priestly prayer of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ'. This chapter can be divided mainly into three, namely, Jesus prays for Himself (17:1-5), Jesus prays for His disciples (17:6-19). Jesus prays for all believers (17:20-26). We see Christ as the great intercessor and declare the definition of eternal life. He starts His prayer for restoration to His former glory (17:1..) "Father, the hour has come. Glorify the Son that the Son may glorify you.." He prayed for the unity of the mankind.

The agony of the Son of God on the evening preceding His passion is very clearly seen here. Fore-seeing the suffering and death on the cross "He prayed more earnestly and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44). For Jesus life had a climax and that was the cross. To Him the cross was the glory of life and the way to glory of eternity, because He was never more majestic than in His death. The cross was the glory of Jesus because it was the completion of His work. He was in complete obedience to His Father. He glorified God on the cross by rendering the perfect obedience of perfect love. To Him cross was not the end, there was resurrection to follow. The cross was the worst men could do to Jesus, but not all their worst could conquer Him. For Jesus the cross was the way back, "glorify me", He prayed, "with the glory which I had before the world began".

To Think and meditate:

1. Jesus prayed before doing any thing. For us, "in the beginning God".

2. Pray and work for eternal life.

3. Find glory on the cross.

4. Be a disciple and a messenger of Jesus Christ,

5. Pray for others.

6. Pray for the peace and unity of the Church.

7. Be obedient to the will of God.

May God bless us !!.

See Also:

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday before Pentecost
by Rev. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose

Lord Jesusí High-Priestly Prayer
by Very Rev. K. Mathai Cor-Episcopa

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday before Pentecost
by Rev. Dn. Sujit T Thomas

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday before Pentecost
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

A Prayer for Mankind
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Sermons and Bible Commentaries for Sunday Before Pentecost

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