Rv 22:12-14, 16-17, 20
Click here for a video with homily hints
Today’s second reading brings us to the conclusion of the Bible, and the culmination of the Bible. The Bride of Christ, the Church, yearns for him to come again so that the marriage may be brought to the fullness of its joy and promise: total union, forever. Through Old Testament prophets, God promised a marriage between himself and his people. Isaiah 62:4-5 reads, “For the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. 5 As a young man marries a maiden, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.“ In his public ministry, Jesus referred to himself as the Bridegroom (see Mt. 9:15). And St. Paul, reflecting on Christ’s perfect sacrifice, says that the sacrament of Christian marriage symbolizes this marriage of Christ and the Church (see Eph. 5:25-32).
This union between God and his people, more intimate than we can dare to imagine, is the subject of Jesus’ prayer in the Gospel passage. The unity of Jesus with the Father is then shared with us, through his Spirit. What is equally clear is that this union with God unites human beings with one another. We are one with each other because we are one with him.
This teaches us a twofold lesson: a) the unity of the human family is not something we build and achieve through our own strength and ingenuity. It is the fruit of union with God. Therefore, the work we do for peace, justice, and respect for life must flow from our intimate union with God. b) Spirituality cannot grow or be considered authentic if it does not lead to committed action for peace, justice, and respect for human life. Union with God means that we are more aware of and responsive to the sufferings and needs of all our brothers and sisters in the human family. We can exclude nobody.