John 17:1-11 NRSVue
1After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
I have to work at this, Lord. The description of eternal life is stark. To know the only true God is beyond my imagination. Do we, in our glorified bodies, leave behind our senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing, vision, that delight us now and seem to be harbingers of better things to come? Somehow the knowledge of the one true God must bring all these joys to a new level.
Eternal life is not just for the future; it is a gift partly given now in our faith. To be in touch with Jesus is to be in touch with a rich and full eternal life. Something is given which will last forever - the mysterious life of God. We touch into that life in prayer. It is like living water, new sight. We are enlightened by the Light of the World.
Jesus wanted the Father to show some sign to his disciples before his death that God was with him, and that he was following the way of God even to the cross. Later on they would hear a voice from heaven, glorifying the name of Jesus, giving security and hope to the disciples at the hour of Jesus' death.
Jesus wants me to have eternal life and describes what that life is: to know God and to know Jesus. As I grow in knowledge of God I begin to taste in the eternal life Jesus promises. I thank God for the light I have, for the quiet revelations and for the personal inspirations that have been given to me.
The letters AMDG are an invitation to live Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, to the greater glory of God. I think of how my words, actions and talents reflect God's glory and imagine myself signing them, AMDG.
Eternal life is not just for heaven. I share in it now. Jesus wants to draw me into his life, to know God.