Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Priestly Prayer of Jesus (I)

When Jesus had said this, he 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. Jn 17,1-11a

This prayer which Jesus addresses to the Father at the end of his earthly mission, before going to the cross, is of a such spiritual height that we cannot see its summit. Only after hours of prayer and inner silence we can approach this passage from the gospel of John, in the hope that a ray of that light may fall upon us, a reflection of the feelings and thoughts which Jesus had when, by this prayer, delivered into the hands of the Father the project of his earthly life. There is, in this passage, no concern about what would become the epilogue on the cross, from which along with the plan of life he will return to the Father also his Spirit. This prayer has as its object only the apostles, who, in the three years spent with him, collected his revelations on the kingdom of heaven, have witnessed the miracles, have lived of Providence and were surprised, in their first experiences of mission, on how the demons were also subdue to them. Jesus is aware of the fact that, at the time, all this is not present in the minds of the apostles, but he also knows that, after his Ascension to the heaven, the Holy Spirit will come upon them and they will remember the whole truth to be able to testify it to the world. It will be the birth of the church. Jesus knows that the apostles will experience, like him, the joy of being heard and of assisting to miracles, that they will suffer persecution and imprisonment, that they will be dispersed throughout the world and that they will end with martyrodom their earthly life. To have all of this fully occurred, he prays for them. We, too, as parents, after years of life together with our children, must entrust them to the Lord with a prayer which looks a bit as this one in the today’s gospel.

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