Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
"Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son,
so that your son may glorify you, just as
you gave him authority over all people, so that he
may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life, that they should know
you, the only true God, and the one whom you
sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by
accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now
glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that
I had with you before the world began. 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. I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for
the ones you have given me, because they are
yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of
yours is mine, and I have been glorified in
them. And now I will no longer be in the
world, but they are in the world, while I
am coming to you."
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
I believe in you and all that you have revealed
for our salvation. I hope in you because of
your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this
earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into
heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my
hope of one day joining you there. I love you
and wish you to be the center of my
Petition: Lord, help me to
grow in my love for the Father and for souls.
1. A Prayer for the Ages: The supreme
hour of Jesus has come. As he anticipates his
agony of self-giving love to the extreme, Christ has no
thought for himself. His heart turns to its one
and only love, the one for whose glory he
has carried out every act of his earthly existence: his
Father. But at the same time, that invincible love
for his Father embraces all those whom the Father
has entrusted to him. Christ leaves his followers a legacy
that will remain their greatest source of confidence throughout
the ages: his priestly prayer. In this, Christ teaches
us how to pray. Christ prays first that his
Father may be glorified by glorifying the Son. What is
the supreme glory with which the life of the
only Son of God will culminate? The answer is in
his bloody immolation upon the cross.
2. The Glory of the Cross: “The word ‘glory’ refers to the splendor, honor
and power which belong to God” (The Navarre Bible: St.
John, pg. 202). How can Christ’s humiliating death on the
cross and his abandonment by his closest followers give
honor to God and reveal his splendor and power? How
can the cross be Christ’s supreme glory? First, it
reveals a love without limits, a love that does
not say, “I will go this far and no farther.”
Christ’s words, “Father, forgive them,” bear witness to a
love that is strong style="color: #990000"er than sin. The
Resurrection, which follows the cross, testifies to a love that
is strong style="color: #990000"er than death itself. Second, the
cross is the fulfillment of Christ’s mission. His obedience
to the Father, even to death, redeems all of mankind.
Have I embraced the cross in my own life
as the one way to follow Christ? Embracing the cross
is the only sure path to love Christ and
glorify the Father.
3. Unshakeable Trust in the Mission: Throughout this Gospel passage, Christ’s words ring with
an unshakeable confidence. Even though he will die, abandoned
by his disciples, in agony and humiliating failure, Christ
continues to trust. He trusts both in his Father and
in those very disciples who will soon desert him.
Our Lord’s trust in us as his followers must inspire
within us a similar unwavering confidence in our mission
to save souls, to bring others to Christ, and
to transform society itself. By ourselves we can achieve
nothing. But we have the assurance of Christ’s own prayers
and the promise of his Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit will speak in the hearts of all those who
Christ calls to bring closer to him. Let us
pray often to our great advocate: “Holy Spirit, inspire
in me what I should think, what I should say,
and what I should leave unsaid, so that I
may achieve the good of all my brothers and sisters,
fulfill my mission, and make Christ’s kingdom triumph.”
Conversation with Christ: Thank
you, Lord, for loving me to the extreme of
dying in unspeakable agony upon the cross. Thank you
for your gift of the Holy Spirit so that I
can follow your path of self-giving love.
Resolution: I will speak
with the Holy Spirit throughout the day and offer
to the Father and for souls each concrete cross
Christ sends me.