In this section of the Farewell Discourse, we once again hear Jesus in the midst of his prayer. Not only does he pray for his disciples, he also prays for those who will come after them and who will believe in Jesus because of their preaching and teaching. His prayer for unity includes them. It includes us.
Jesus also reflects on his mission. He came into this world as the final revelation of the Father. He came to make the Father known. This task or mission is the ultimate chapter of what has been going on in the Scriptures since the very beginning. Think back to the Book of Exodus and the story of the burning bush. Moses expressed concern that the people would not heed his word unless he could tell them the name of God. In bringing God's word to the Israelites and to Pharoah, Moses understood that the message was only as important as the one who sent it.
Throughout the Scriptures we read stories that concern God's identity, the efforts of God's people to spread the name of God, and stories of how men and women came to understand Who it was that they had encountered. Jesus is the final revelation. When we look upon Jesus, we see God. When we listen to the words of Jesus, we hear God. When we ponder the mystery of Jesus' passion, death, resurrection and ascension, we come to understand the mystery of Love. As we listen to the prayer which Jesus utters before he dies, we realize that Jesus is in right relationship with the Father and wishes the same for us.
As Jesus prays for us today, the ones who have come to believe because of the preaching and teaching of the apostles, we are faced with the question of how we continue that task of revealing the truth about God. We need not fear the task, for we have the gift of the Holy Spirit who teaches us the Truth.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator