To read the texts click on the texts: Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Jn 17: 20-26
these last verses of the prayer, Jesus expands the circle of those for whom he
prays to include believers of the future. Since Jesus did not come to make a
limited revelation, but one that was meant to embrace the whole world, it is
only appropriate that he pray also for those who will believe because of the
disciples’ word and witness. The primary invocation that Jesus makes here is
the all be one. It is a petition for unity. The reason for this petition is
that Jesus wants all those who will believe in him to share in the same
relationship that he shares with his Father. Just as Jesus and the Father are
one, so, he prays, that all believers will also share in this mutual
indwelling. When this unity is seen by those who do not yet believe, they, too,
will be inspired to know and believe that Jesus was indeed sent by God. Unity
of the community, which has as its source the unity of the Son and Father, will
be the drawing force that will lead others to Jesus. By the unity that is shown
in community, those who believe in Jesus will also be able to complete God’s
work in the same way in which Jesus did.
the last three verses of the prayer (17:24-26), there is a greater intensity.
Petition changes to want. This is not to be interpreted as selfishness but
rather, as audacity or confidence. Jesus is confident that his Father will give
him what he wants and also, that this is his Father’s will for him and all
believers. What Jesus wants is that God, he, and the believers, share in a
mutual indwelling. What he wants is that all be one. This oneness and unity is
expressed in the tangible reality of love.
was never meant to be, and can never be, a private religion. Everything about
Christianity is both individual and communitarian. The seven Sacraments are
beautiful examples of the communal dimension of Christianity. This is because
Jesus did not come to make a private or esoteric revelation to only a small
group of individuals but to make a revelation to the whole world. Thus, the
community of believers today is faced with this challenge of showing the
communal dimension or unity of the community and so, drawing others to believe.
It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility. It is a privilege because we
are called to continue the work of Jesus himself and so share in the mission
entrusted to him by his Father. It is a responsibility because, as believers,
we cannot be complacent and content with our private devotions or individual
faith. We must manifest it to everyone
we meet. It is a faith that is to be shown in action, a faith that is to be
shown in tangible love.