210. Monday after Fourth Sunday after Easter.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to hear thy most holy words to the Father, in that thou dost pray for us. Amen.
John 17, 11-19. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
The Father is holy; he is exalted above all creatures, and there is in him no trace whatever of the impurity of the fallen world. The Son is one with the Father, and is equally holy; as is also the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost. That which is to have communion with God must be holy ;without holiness none can enjoy the bliss which God gives. Therefore the faithful must be chosen out of the world, sanctified to the Lord, cleansed by the Spirit, and kept unspotted in the purity of Jesus. In order that this may come to pass, Jesus consecrated himself for us; that is, gave himself as a sacrificial lamb for our sins. To sanctify a thing to the Lord God means to set it apart, to give it and dedicate it as a sacrifice to him; as was done in the case of the priests and the sacrifices in the Old Testament. (Exodus 29. Leviticus 22). Jesus consecrated himself for us; surrendered himself wholly to God as a sacrifice and high priest for us. He laid down his life for us, thus making his whole life and his death, his holy will and obedience and work and suffering, ours. Of his own free will he delivered himself up to death in our stead. “This is that by means of which we are made holy: That he hallowed himself for us. It is a truth whose value is beyond all price. Briefly stated, it means that Christ is our priest and mediator, that on the cross he sacrificed himself to God the Father, and that by this sacrifice we are reconciled with God and have salvation. This is our chief article of faith and the source of all our comfort and riches as Christians.” By this means they that are one with Christ are holy, even as he is holy; they no longer are of the world, but are separated from its sin, and consecrated to be kings and priests before God. This separation from sin and the world is something widely different from that which is affected by Pharisaical self-righteousness while the heart is full of egotism and the things of this world. Jesus does not take his disciples out of the world before the time appointed of the Father; but he takes possession of their heart, and sends them out into the world to bear witness concerning him, and to consecrate themselves to the work of extending his kingdom. He prays to the Father that the word of truth, which contains and brings his self-sacrificing love, the power of his life and death, may so entirely fill their souls that they may be sanctified, and willingly give themselves as an offering to God, and die from all sin. And as he prays, so it is in truth with them that believe in Jesus. — Blessed are they who through the word and faith are one in God! Blessed are they when the world hates them and casts them off, blessed in their sufferings, blessed in their death!
Heavenly Father, may we be of those whom thy Son didst receive from thee! Do not suffer us to reject thy mercy by loving sin, thus rushing headlong into perdition. Holy Father, sanctify us by the word, in the fellowship of Jesus, to thy service; make us to understand the full meaning of his passion and resurrection, that our whole life, our will and desire and all that is in us, may be devoted to thee. Draw our hearts to thee, that we may hate even the garment spotted by the flesh, and that we may not tolerate any sin in ourselves. We earnestly beseech thee in the name of Jesus: Sanctify us through thy truth; thy word is truth. Amen.
Holy Spirit, strong and mighty,
Thou who makest all things new,
Make thy work within me perfect,
Help me by thy word so true,
Arm me with that sword of thine,
And the victory shall be mine.