SAINT BEDE THE VENERABLE, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.
Jesus knew his hour had come. Judas was about to betray him, and that would usher in the events of his passion and death. In those final moments, Jesus prayed to his Father—not just for his disciples, but for the entire Church. Each person who would come to believe in him was on his mind and in his heart, including you. You are part of Jesus’ great prayer!
That they may all be one (John 17:21). Jesus prayed that you would be united with all of your brothers and sisters in Christ. That means he prayed that you would desire and work for unity. That also means that he prayed that you would come to participate more fully in the unity that Jesus has with his Father.
That the world may know that . . . you loved them even as you loved me (John 17:23). Jesus prayed that you would show the people around you what it looks like to be a beloved child of God. Your life becomes a clear witness to this love in the way that you are united with other believers. Or in the way that you love your neighbor. Or in the way that you live in the dignity of being a cherished son or daughter of God.
They are your gift to me (John 17:24). Jesus sees you as a gift. He looked forward to the day you would be born. He anticipated all the ways he would work in your life and draw you to faith. You are precious to him. The same goes for all your brothers and sisters in Christ. See yourself as a gift, yes, but also see other people as the Father’s gift to Jesus and to you.
That they may see my glory that you gave me (John 17:24). Jesus wanted you to know who he is: the Son of God seated in glory with the Father. Every time you experience his presence in prayer or at Mass, you taste that glory. Every time you understand the Scriptures better, you sense his glory. And every time you forgive or reach out to your neighbor, you are showing his glory to the world around you.
Just as he did over two thousand years ago, Jesus is still praying for you today.
“Jesus, thank you for praying for me. I know that your Father hears every word.”
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11