Acts 20:28-38 / John 17:11-19
Jesus prays for his disciples: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.”
A legend says that when Jesus ascended into heaven, the angel Gabriel asked him if all the people on earth knew about God’s love for them. “Oh, no!” said Jesus, “just a handful of people do.” Gabriel was shocked and replied, “But, Lord, what if this handful of people let you down? What if they meet with opposition and become discouraged? Don’t you have a back-up plan, just in case?” “No,” said Jesus, “I’m simply counting on them not to let me down.”
How is Jesus’ expectation being realized in us? “I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help him.” Hudson Taylor
Blood has great significance in the Bible. Its meanings involve profound aspects of human life and God's desire to transform human existence. Blood is intimately associated with physical life. Blood and “life” or “living being” are closely associated. To say that something is bought with blood does not merely mean that a quantity of blood is exchanged for that item. To buy something with blood means to say a life is given up in exchange for that item.
In the 1st reading, St. Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus that the Church of God is bought with the blood of Christ. Jesus Christ offered His life on the cross so that we, the Church, can be redeemed from our sins and saved from eternal death. St. Paul didn't have to shed his blood for the church of Ephesus or for any of the churches at that time. But he did shed tears over each of them. It was an expression of how much he loved and cared for them as he foresaw the dangers they will be facing. St. Paul shed tears and would have prayed to the Lord Jesus to protect the Church.
And in the gospel, Jesus said that He will keep watch over each of us and that no one would be lost, except when we choose to be lost.
We are not asked to pour out our blood for the salvation for others. Yet like St Paul we must also shed tears and pray for our salvation and the salvation of others.
Tears, together with prayers, are the lens we need to see Jesus.