|Thursday, June 05, 2003
In this last part of John 17, Jesus prays for his future disciplesall the men and women in future ages who will believe through the message proclaimed by his first followers. You are one of those people! You are one of those future disciples for whom Jesus prayed. So, as you read this part of Jesus prayer, take a close look at what it is that Jesus wants for you.
Jesus wants his disciplesall of usto be in unity with one another as we are also in unity with him and his Father. The calling to be united with him and the Father is awesome enough, but how much more awesomeand how much more challengingis the call to be united with one another. Knowing that Jesus prayed for this kind of unity can give us confidence that it really can happen, especially when we think of those circumstances in which we dont feel united as believers.
Why does Jesus take the issue of unity so seriously? Of all the things he could have prayed for on his last night on earth, why did he choose to pray for this? There are many reasons, but one of the most important ones is because he knew that our witness of love and mercy toward one another could change the whole world. He knew that our unity in Christ is one of the most important dimensions of evangelization. Actions always speak louder than words, and when we show the world that people from so many different backgrounds and cultures can come together, we are showing them nothing less than the power of divine love.
Finally, Jesus prayed that the very love that the Father has for him may be in us. Try to imagine the immensity of the Fathers love for Jesus. This is the same love that Jesus wants you to know! In prayer today, take time to rest in this love and to let the experience of this love flow over you. Know that as you do, it will empower you to seek the unity that Jesus deeply desiresand to become a light to the whole world.
Holy Spirit, open the eyes of my heart to the immense love that Jesus has for me. As Pentecost approaches, let me experience this love more deeply so that I may share it with others.