“This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

John 17:3

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Acts 20:17–27; Psalm 68:10–11, 20–21; John 17:1–11a.

This morning’s readings contain excerpts from two farewell messages, those of Jesus and St Paul.

The farewell message from Jesus in St John’s Gospel is a final account of his mission and to the attentive reader, it reminds us of the prologue to that Gospel. We were told there that “[i]n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” and that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father.” In today’s Gospel we see how the incarnate Word, the Father’s only Son, is preparing to return to the Father, to the glory that was his “before the world began”. Jesus has finished the work he was sent to do and has glorified the Father by entrusting to his disciples the message the Father had entrusted to him. Mindful that he “will no longer be in the world”, he prays for these disciples.

St Paul in the first reading also knows that he is not long for this world. As he leaves Ephesus he also reports on his mission. He has delivered the message entrusted to him by the Lord Jesus, never shrinking from announcing “the Gospel of God’s grace”. All he wants now is to finish his race and complete his service.

How might we report on what we have accomplished on our faith journey? How obedient have we been to building the Kingdom or spreading God’s good news? Have we led others to know God the Father and Jesus his Son? How will we finish our race?


Dear Father,

Through the grace of your Spirit, help me to share the love you have for us with everyone I meet. Give me that heart-felt knowledge of your Son so that I might truly praise you.


Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Whilst working at the Institute, Matthew managed the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and was involved in the Spirituality work, completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and the Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and was also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa. He is currently the Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Southern Africa, based in Lusaka, Zambia.

m.charlesworth@jesuitinstitute.org.za @mcharlesworth
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