Psalms 68:10-11, 20-21
At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus told his mother, “My hour has not yet come.” Now, in today’s gospel, which comes at the end of the last supper, Jesus notes that at last, “the hour has come.”
He speaks with the sad awareness “that the time had come for me to leave this world.” What follows is a most tender prayer from Jesus to the Father in the final hours before his passion and crucifixion. Most remarkably, as he faces his death, his prayer is not for himself, but for those he loves here on earth, his disciples – and for us.
He prays that the glory he receives through his upcoming sufferings may be a reflection of glory to the Father. The work he has been given to do on earth is nearly finished. Why is it finished? Because he has followers who will carry on this work. He speaks warmly of his disciples being connected in some intimate way with the Father. Jesus knows that his work will be carried on by those who believe in him and he offers a special prayer knowing that “these you have given me are really yours.”
It is not just the disciples at that supper who are missioned with carrying on Jesus’ work on earth – it is all of his followers, including us. We are loved and prayed for by Jesus, who now asks us to follow his path and to be Jesus for others when he is no longer physically present.
We were not at the table during the last supper, but in prayer we can sit in silence and feel the love and intimate friendship Jesus offers us. We are invited to live in that love, to be a part of the world in the way he has been and to love others as he has.
Today we can stop and ask ourselves, “How am I carrying on the work
of Jesus?” We carry on a mission that began two thousand year ago.
Jesus' personal invitation to each one of us to continue that work is renewed
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