Called To Carry the Message of God’s Love

Last night, I read a transcription of the homily delivered by a Vincentian priest of the New England province (Fr. Edmund Gutowski, CM) at the Jubilee Mass celebrating his 50th anniversary of priesthood. After talking about the fact that we all have individual callings, and a little about his own calling as a priest, he said something about his own growing realization that relates to our common call.

Slowly I learned it was not I that did any good but Jesus in and through me. St. John’s priestly prayer has become mine: ” Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I make your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me, may be in them and I in them.”(John 17: 25-26)

I have prayed often with the Jesus’ priestly prayer in John’s Gospel, but always as Jesus’ prayer. What I have always focused on is Jesus’ love for us and desire for us being expressed by Him to His Father. And that has always made that a very moving passage for me to pray with.

Never before, in all my time praying with the passage, have I focused on the idea of embracing Jesus prayer as our prayer. As soon as I read the words of the sermon, it struck me as a powerful idea. It is also a natural one. For as Fr. Gutowski observed in his homily, “We all have been called to carry the message of God’s love to all His people, regardless of our talents and other gifts. God uses us for all His work.”

Next time you pray with this portion of Jesus’ priestly prayer in John’s Gospel, let the words be yours, as you pray for the wisdom, grace and love to carry out our mission to bring God and God’s love to all God’s people.