“I revealed Your name to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They belonged to You, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they know that everything You gave Me is from You, because the words You gave to Me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from You, and they have believed that You sent Me.”
Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Over the past few weeks, we moved from Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in the gospel passage to excerpts from St. John’s Last Supper narrative between Jesus and His disciples.
John’s Last Supper narrative is a very open and honest (what else could Jesus be?) discourse not just about what was to happen in the immediate aftermath of the Last Supper, that is Jesus’ arrest, torture, crucifixion, death, and burial, but out into the future – the forever future – a future of promise.
Jesus lays out a roadmap from His ministry with the disciples, what He taught them, their experiences of His ministry and miracles to His identity in the Father.
In today’s gospel passage He is bringing all this together in a farewell speech and concluding prayer. This prayer has been called the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus or the Arch Priestly Prayer of Jesus. Interestingly, this is specifically mentioned in the Canon of the Bishop Hodur Rite of the Holy Mass.
Jesus in this prayer is consecrating His followers in the Father. Indeed, Jesus’ whole life’s work was about connecting us to His Father, revealing Him, letting us know about His love, mercy, forgiveness, and thorough and complete healing. We learn, through Jesus, that His sacrifice was designed by the Father to save us. He is now blessing them in the Father.
We are heirs to this knowledge, to this revelation, and to its promises because we have, by God’s choice and the work of the Holy Spirit, accepted Jesus by faith in the same way the first disciples did. Therefore, we are possessors of the same glory Jesus has – the Father’s glory. Because we belong to Jesus we belong to the Father and so we are blessed in both the Father and Son. We have abundant eternal life in an ongoing knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son.
Jesus speaks of the glory His Father will give Him and makes a very fine point about our possessing that same glory because of our unity with Jesus, our belief in Him, and in such our unity with God the Father.
Jesus, also being realistic, knows we remain here, unified with Him, but subject to the trials of the worldly and so He prays for them.
For us all this comes down to who we are, what we possess, and where we are going. As a faithful Christian I am in the Father through Jesus. I have the promise of eternal life. I am headed toward heaven – but there is still work I must do here.