(In many dioceses, the Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated today. If you celebrate the Ascension in your diocese today, see the reflection from the previous Thursday.)
May 16, 2021
Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B)
Readings for Today
“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.” John 17:17–19 (Year B)
What does it mean to “consecrate” something or someone? Consecration is, of course, a very familiar term within our faith. We speak of the bread and wine being consecrated and becoming the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus our Lord. The consecration of the mere earthly substances of bread and wine transform them into God Himself. Thus, “consecration” is a powerful word.
Another familiar use of this word is in reference to those women who have been called by God to enter religious life so as to dedicate themselves to God as spouses of Christ. They become “Consecrated Religious” through their solemn lifelong vows. They are dedicated, taken out of the world and presented to Christ in a unique way.
Among the laity, there are many who have consecrated themselves to our Blessed Mother, or to the Sacred Heart, or to our divine Lord through some other special form of devotion. In all of these cases, to “consecrate” is to dedicate, set aside and make holy. Another translation for the word “consecrate” above is “sanctify.”
To “Sanctify them in the truth” is to make them holy by the truth. This is Jesus’ prayer in the above-quoted passage. This line comes from Jesus’ beautiful High Priestly Prayer in which He prays to the Father for His disciples and for all who will eventually become His disciples—and that includes you! Jesus’ prayer is not only effective as a prayer, it is also effective as a lesson on holiness. How do we become holy? Simple. We allow the Word of the Father to consecrate us in truth. In other words, we allow God’s holy Word to engage us, challenge us, change us, call us from sin, point us to Heaven and transform every aspect of our lives. God’s Word is the Truth, and we will become holy if we are transformed by this Truth.
In what ways do you need the Truth, spoken by the Father in Heaven, to engage you? What are the truths of our faith that you especially need to know, accept, profess and believe? One of the best ways to answer this question is to commit yourself to an in-depth, prayerful reading of the Word of God. By prayerfully reading the Scriptures, you will open yourself to all that God wants to reveal to you. And as the voice of God speaks to you through His Word, you will be invited to change. His Word will combat the confusion and lies of the world and the evil one and set you upon the path to holiness, to true sanctity and interior consecration.
Reflect, today, upon the transforming power of the Word of God. Reflect upon how fully you have allowed His Word to speak to you, call you out of the world, set you apart for holiness and direct you toward Himself. Engaging the Word of God must become your daily spiritual food, and it must paint for you the picture of your glorious life to which you are called.
My Jesus, Word of the Father, You are Truth Itself. You are the Living Word Who has come to set us free. Give me the grace I need to listen to Your holy voice so that Your Truth will engage me in the depths of my soul, transforming me into the person You have called me to be. I open myself to You, dear Lord, and to all You wish to say to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Catholic Daily Reflections
Ordinary Time: May 24–August 31
Novena to the Holy Spirit
Prayed in preparation for Pentecost
Day Three – Sunday, May 16