Pray, do

I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you

In the New Testament, Chapters 14-17 of John’s Gospel is known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to His apostles immediately after the conclusion of the Last Supper.

In the final part of the discourse, which we proclaim today, Jesus prays for His glorification, for His followers and for the coming Church. It is known as the High Priestly Prayer. In this prayer Jesus submits five specific petitions to the Father. The five petitions are: Verses 1-5: Petition for His glorification based on the completion of his work; Verses 6-10: Petitions for his disciples; Verses 11-19: Petition for the preservation and sanctification of “his own” in the world; Verses 20-23: Petition for unity of “his own”; and Verses 24-26: Petition for the union of “his own” with Himself.

The prayer begins with Jesus’ petition for his glorification by the Father: I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you… Note that Jesus is not just asking that His Father glorify Him ‘just because,’ but rather because He has was has fulfilled the work the Father had sent Him to accomplish. Not just that, but He was moving toward the moment when that work would be completely accomplished in His passion and death.

Jesus sets the standard by which Christian life is to be lived. We are to seek only to do the will of God, to follow Jesus’ teaching and the path of life He gave us. We are to do God’s will in all things, whether it is easy or very difficult. Whether we feel great, or are suffering.

The world would tell us to run to sinful false gods and false saviors for comfort, especially when the road gets rough. The world wants to bury us in its false hopes, to bury us in the false saviors of food, sex, possessions, alcohol, bitterness, and self-loathing, hopelessness, and depression. If we live our baptismal commitment, if we fully realize that we have been buried into Christ’s death, death to the world, our living will be marked by continuously approaching God in prayer and doing all that is necessary to show accomplishment – a resume of doing God’s will.

Jesus then prays for the success of the work of His disciples – all of us. Jesus refers to us as the people who accept that He was sent by His Father to reveal the Father’s character and will. Jesus prays for us so that we might live in God with the very same love, affection, and glory that exist between the Father and Son. He prays that the Father accomplish this unity by keeping us steadfast in our baptismal relationship, persevering in faithfulness to accomplish God’s will.