(Jn 17: 20-26)
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”
We almost always welcome prayers made in out behalf. It gives us a sense of being special and cared for when someone prays for us. More so if the person who does it is someone we esteem and look up to. Today’s gospel speaks of Jesus praying in behalf of His believers. He cares deeply for them as evidenced by His prayerful petitions to the Father. Being with them is not enough for Him. He has to ask the Father for the special boon to those He claims as His own.
Perhaps we can learn a page or two as how Jesus treats His people. He looks at them as friends, worthy of His time, worthy of His trust. And He cares passionately for their welfare. He thinks of them even if they are not around. No wonder He was able to form a bond so deep that not even hunger, famine or the sword could separate them from His love.
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF