May 16, 2021: Seventh Sunday of Easter
John Chapter 17:11b-19
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them.”
This is the longest prayer Jesus prayed in any of the Gospels. Jesus prayed this as he was preparing to leave to return to his father. It is often called the farewell discourse, Christ’s prayer for union. Jesus’ unconditional love and concern for his disciples is very evident. As the disciples are invited to carry forward the mission of God’s kingdom, he prays specifically for them, asking his father to grant them joy as he keeps them in his loving care and protection. Jesus prays to his father to grant them the graces to live in holiness, fidelity and love as they carry on the mission of their beloved Master.
Throughout this beautiful prayer of Jesus’ request to his Father, it speaks too, over and over again how much God loves each one of us. It is with God’s help, we too are invited to consecrate ourselves in loving service, fidelity, and holiness to God and to God’s people.
Who needs my unconditional love today?