Acts 1: 15-17, 21-26
In Luke’s description of the beginnings of the early church, the eleven have returned to Jerusalem after the resurrection, occupying the same upper room where Jesus consecrated the last supper. Judas is gone, perhaps to his death, and Peter insists the number of disciples, now called apostles, be returned to twelve. Twelve, of course , was the number of the tribes of Israel, now broken into individual groups by internal conflict. Laying out the qualifications for the new apostle, Peter requires the candidates to be from those who were with Jesus from the beginning. And thus Matthias was chosen to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I John 5: 9-13
The author of the First Letter of John returns to the belief in Jesus, the fundamental and single basis for life in God. In crystal clear Greek words the author lays out the simple but powerful understanding that without the testimony of God regarding his Son, one does not have life; life is only possible through belief in the Son of God.
John 17: 6-19
In the Gospel of John Jesus concludes his teaching, the farewell discourse, as he prepares for the arrest trial and crucifixion. In this passage, a final prayer with the disciples, Jesus entrusts the future of the community to God. His work now done, Jesus appeals to the Father to guide and strengthen the men and women who have been with him from the days of his baptism. Fully aware of what lies ahead for himself, Jesus prays to God for protection and guidance in the rocky days ahead and calls upon God to not leave the community as their future unfolds.