June 6, 2019 – Thursday 7th Week of Easter
“Father, they are your gift to me, I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may se my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” – Jn 17:24
In these past few days, we have been following the prayers of Jesus just before his passion and death. Most of these prayers of Jesus speak of unity, of oneness, and of friendship. Jesus speaks about it because he has most probably felt already the suffering that he will undergo. There will be great feelings of confusion and of loneliness and abandonment.
In this prayer of Jesus, he expresses his gratitude to the Father for giving him the gift of friendship with his disciples. This friendship somehow gives comfort to Jesus. Yet, he also feels that his friends are also afraid, confused and insecure. Thus, Jesus prays that his friends may be one with him, may never leave him but will accompany him in his suffering.
However, these friends of Jesus turned out to be overwhelmed by their fear and insecurities. They fled and hid themselves for fear of being persecuted too. After all, they left Jesus alone.
But this attitude of the disciples never made Jesus to surrender on them. Jesus remains grateful to the Father because he saw something beyond the imperfection and unfaithfulness of his friends.
Indeed, Jesus trusts the wisdom of the Father for giving him these kinds of friends. These friends are also the very sign of the Father’s love to his son. Beyond the unfaithfulness and fear of the disciples are the image and the presence of God in them.
The disciples realized this after the resurrection of Jesus. This event gradually changed them completely. Indeed, it was in this way that they have become one with Jesus. And true indeed, they were the Father’s gift to Jesus because each of Jesus’ friends became his witnesses to all the nations.
We, too, are the Father’s gift to Jesus, each of us. As gifts, we are very precious to Jesus. Yet, like the disciples, we shall also find ourselves weak, fearful and insecure. But remember, Jesus will never surrender on us because he sees something beyond our weaknesses and fears. Jesus sees himself in us!
As Jesus wishes that we may be one with him to see his glory, we are invited to remain firm in our faith and conviction as Christians. But, when we find ourselves going away from Jesus, let us come to him again, to come closer to him. It is only in being with him that we too shall find our true peace and comfort.
Today, be also grateful of the friendship you have with Jesus and of the friendship you have developed with other people. Like Jesus, we may also see the person of Jesus in our friends, to see Jesus beyond the imperfection and weaknesses of our friends. Hinaut pa unta.
Jom Baring, CSsR