Daily Reflection – 5/23/2023
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 your son 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 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.” (John 17:1-11)
Today’s Gospel is one of the most encompassing and majestic prayers that Jesus uttered. It is also very intimate because it is a prayer from the Son to God, His father.
In that prayer, he defines all that was contained in His earthly life. It is as if Jesus is reporting to God on all that was accomplished.
As I have throughout my life, I am struck by the sacrifice that was made for God, by God. Jesus offers one sacrifice for the sins of the whole world to God. Jesus offers Himself.
The crucifixion completes Jesus’ work of glorifying God on earth, for by laying down his life he gives himself completely so that the world may know of Jesus’ love for God and God’s love for the world (John 3:16; 14:31).
By his resurrection and ascension Jesus returns to the heavenly glory that God prepared for him in love, and Jesus prays that his followers will one day join him in the Father’s presence to share in this glory and love (17:5, 24-26).
Jesus also spoke about our knowledge of God. Jesus tells his disciples and us that they can know God. To know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father.
To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God — a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God — a God whose love for us surpasses every love that we could ever know.
There is one sentence in His prayer that moves me to tears because I am so humbled. One sentence. So simple. So powerful. Jesus, two millennia ago, prayed for me. Prayed for you. Prayed for us, on our journeys. Together.
He prayed that we could transcend the world. He offered our difficulties to the Father. He brought our crosses to the Father before he brought his own on Calvary. He prayed that we might have the strength, through our faith, to continue in the world, living apart from it.
Whenever I read this passage, I see Jesus passionately in prayer. I can’t help but see a man with his heart on fire with love, truly communicating, truly one with his Father in heaven from whom he came and to whom he will return. He understood he was physically leaving his friends, both the Apostles and us, soon. He knew how difficult this world was to live in; he knew the challenges, frustrations, and persecutions firsthand, and he didn’t want to leave us alone. So he prayed. In His prayer, our crosses of life are joined with His.
We must always remember that every suffering we endure, every cross we carry, is an opportunity to manifest the Cross of Christ. We are called, by Him, to constantly give Him glory by living His suffering and death in our lives. Reflect, today, upon the hardships you endure. And know that, in Christ, those hardships can share in His redeeming love if you let Him.
I read. I reflected. I embraced. I believed. I wept.
Prayer of The Day
” Jesus, it is hard to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems I make little progress. I have the same struggles and difficulties every day. I’m overwhelmed by the evil I see in the world, and it can be hard to see your victory in many places, in many families and homes. Give me the hope that I need to keep seeking your will in all things.”
Prayer does not begin with “me” but with God and his glorification. However, the glorification of God is complete when love abounds, because where love is, there God is. The effect of our prayer has to be seen in tangible love, expressed in deeds, as it was in the life of Jesus.