John 17:1-11aIntroductory 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 life.Petition:
Lord, help me to grow in my love for the Father and for souls.1. A Legacy of Prayer:
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 Cross is True Glory:
“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 stronger than sin. The Resurrection, which follows the cross, testifies to a love that is stronger 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. Jesus Continues to Trust in Me:
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 extremeof 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 cross Christ sends me.