In today’s Gospel Jesus continues the prayer he began in yesterday’s Gospel. Jesus began his prayer yesterday with praise of God, his heavenly Father: “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.’” (John 17:1). As Jesus’ prayer continues in today’s Gospel, we hear him pray for all of us: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Through the apostolic preaching of the Gospel generations of people have come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus prays for us Christians today. He prays that we may be one: “I pray…that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us that the world may believe that you sent me.” At times we hear Christian preachers decry the lack of faith in our modern world. Jesus suggests that before we condemn the world, we need to look at ourselves as Christians. What does the world see? A lot of good, holy, compassionate, and generous people. But the world also sees the divisions among the Christians communities and the sexual abuse scandals. The world sees at times hypocritical Christians who seem to lack compassion and are quick to judge and condemn. Jesus tells us that we Christians need to look at ourselves first:
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7:1, 3, 5).
When the world sees the same oneness and compassion that Jesus and the Father show, it is then that the world will recognize Jesus in our midst. So, we ask Jesus today: “Lord, pray for us that we may truly follow your way of humility, of mercy, and of sacrifice. We pray that we may truly be one.”
Image: “12 Matthew 06 v09-13 Jesus teaches the Disciples how to Pray” by fz1844 is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.