Jesus’ prayer before his ultimate sacrifice in John’s Gospel is dense and difficult to understand (or at least that’s how I feel when reading it). But verse 17 stands out to me: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” And today’s other readings abound in truth. Ezekiel scolds Israel for passing the blame onto their ancestors instead of having some personal accountability for their struggles. Paul’s letter to the Philippians challenges us to see the good in everything. Coincidentally, I overheard a similar idea recently in an audiobook: essentially, it’s more important to love that which is good than to hate that which is evil.
Paul’s letter also reminds us that instead of worrying, we should pray; ah, now we’ve come full circle back to Jesus and his experience in the garden! So let us welcome spiritual growth through prayer even in the most dire of circumstances as Jesus has taught us.
The readings for Friday of Last Epiphany are Psalm 95 [for the invitatory] & 31; Ezek. 18:1-4,25-32; Phil. 4:1-9; John 17:9-19 and can be found at satucket.com/lectionary/2epiphL.htm.