On this Sunday before Pentecost we complete our readings from the words of Jesus in John’s gospel set in the context of the Last Supper, on the night before Jesus died. This is the final section of a prayer Jesus directs to the Father. He raises his eyes to heaven and prays to the Father for unity.
Jesus prays not only for those who have followed him up to this point. He prays too for the people to whom they will bring the gospel message. Our awareness of the history of the early Church confirms that from the very start there were divisions and differences in attitudes which could be very strongly held.
Jesus prays for a pervasive unity among the disciples, that all may be one in a unity which reflects the relationship of Jesus with the Father, and the Trinitarian nature of God which is gradually being understood by the early Christians. Through this unity others will come to believe.
Jesus speaks of the glory given him by the Father which he in turn makes known to believers. Jesus has made the name of God, another word pointing to God’s very essence, known to the disciples, so that they should be one in love. The ultimate gift of the Risen Jesus is love.
How can these final words of Christ’s prayer inspire our daily lives?
What can we do to protect the unity of those who believe and to avoid division and discord?
We pray that we may be faithful to the truth we have come to know from Jesus.
We pray that generous love may always be a feature of Christian life.