And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel reading is the continuation of Jesus’ prayer to the Father we began yesterday. Jesus is preparing to be handed over to the authorities and killed, and so he asks his Father that despite his departure, those who’ve been entrusted to him will continue to experience God’s joy and protection. More importantly, Jesus asks that they (we) may be “sanctified in the truth”. This gift of truth comes through the entirety of Jesus’ earthly life. This passage reminds us of the continuity of what St. Ignatius might call God’s endless giving and gifting of self.
We have experienced God’s giving of self through the Incarnation, Jesus’ teaching and ministry, his death and Resurrection, and through his Ascension. And the fruit of Jesus’ prayer comes at Pentecost this coming Sunday. The coming of the Holy Spirit is the ultimate gift that assures us of God’s joy, protection, and truth Jesus so desires for us.
How do you experience God’s joy and protection?
Father, your truth is made known in your Word. Guide us to seek the truth of the human person. Teach us the way to love because you are Love.
Jesus, you embody Love and Truth. Help us to recognize your face in the poor. Enable us to live out our vocation to bring love and justice to your people.
Holy Spirit, you inspire us to transform our world. Empower us to seek the common good for all persons. Give us a spirit of solidarity and make us one human family.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—From the USCCB, based on Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)
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