Today’s Gospel, in my opinion is the most intimate glimpse of Jesus’ thoughts, emotions and feelings in his humanity. Of course the question is, “what is the source, that John processed that he used in his Gospel?” That question can be reserved to theologians and biblical scholars, but for our sake, since we believe the Gospels are Revealed by the Holy Spirit, let us assume these are Jesus’ actual thoughts and words.
The Gospel today, is part of a Last Supper speech that Jesus gave as accounted in the seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel. Jesus, now glorified (after Judas had left the room), feels free to express himself in a personal audible prayer to his father for all to hear.
While Jesus, prays for the world, in a special way, he prays for those closest to him, his disciples, those who had been with him from the beginning of his ministry. “They are your gift to me…” Jesus thanks his father for giving these people to him as a gift, but more than that, his friends, in a sense, his family and his supporters. In so many ways, in John’s Gospel, Jesus is in total control of every situation. John gives us the impression that Jesus knows what is happening and is about to happen. Yet here in this speech, John shows us the more human, vulnerable side of Jesus. He is praying in a special way for his loved ones….his gift from the Father.
We should gain a special fondness in this illustration of Jesus by John. We can feel this same sense of the personal love he had for his disciples as he has for each of us. It should give a true sense of personal connection with Jesus in the purest of an emotional relationship. Just as Jesus prayed for his loved ones during his life on earth, he continually prays for us in the same intense way now. That should help us feel Jesus’ ongoing love for us constantly.