St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
Weekend Masses: Saturday- 5:00pm
Sunday- 7:30am; 9:00am (children's liturgy); 10:30am
Daily Mass is at 8:15am on Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday, and Friday (no Mass on Wednesday)
Reconciliation: Saturday from 3:30-4:30pm
Office Hours: M-Th 9am to 4:30pm; Fri 9-12:00pm

The Seventh Sunday of Easter

In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
The High Priestly Prayer (John 17)
This is the last Sunday before Pentecost and we hear the conclusion of Jesus' farewell sermon at his last supper. 

Our Gospel reading (John 17:1-11) is an excerpt from what is known as the High Priestly Prayer. Jesus turned his focus from his disciples to the Father in a final conversation to the one who sent him; a loving plea for his disciples and for his Church.

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
"I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."

Just before Jesus' ascension into heaven (see last Thursday's readings), he told his disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our first reading (Acts 1:12-14) is the account of the apostles, Mary and other disciples as the gathered in the upper room, to pray and to wait. Next Sunday, we will see that their wait would soon be over.

After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

In our Epistle reading (1 Peter 4:13-16) we hear that in Jesus, suffering and glory are inextricably linked. And so it is with us, especially those who suffer in the name of Christ. In Christ, our suffering is a cause for rejoicing.

Beloved: Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let no one among you be made to suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer. But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name.

Just as the disciples gathered in the upper room to await the coming of the Holy Spirit, so we await as well. Next Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into our world, to be our advocate, teacher and guide who will lead us home to the Father and Jesus. Along that path to home is our own passion and suffering. May we see it as a cause to join with the suffering of Jesus and through our rejoicing, find glory. 
  • Click Here to read and reflect on the readings for Sunday, May 28, 2017