Here is the homily of Bishop Robert F. Vasa for today’s Mass:
St. Bernard was a great preacher and teacher on the love of God, and particularly the love of God in our favor. And perhaps if he was living today he would be a great advocate and proponent of that message of mercy so frequently proclaimed by Pope Francis and made doctrinal by Pope John Paul II and initiated by St. Faustina.
And we find a wonderful word in today’s Gospel that we don’t often consider as a portion of our relationship to God.
Jesus says of the apostles and really all of us who strive to love and to serve Him a beautiful phrase:
Father, they are Your gift to Me (John 17:24).
Jesus is there saying to His apostles, “You are a gift to Me,” and praying to the Father and letting the disciples overhear His prayer to the Father, “Father, they are Your gift to Me.”
Each of us needs to hear those words on the lips of Jesus in our own hearts and acknowledge with great joy—and great gratitude—that Jesus prays for us, “Father, they are Your gift to Me.”
I think that lightens and brightens our day and our spirit to know we are so deeply and ardently loved by God, loved by Christ, that He would consider us a gift to Him.