John 17:11-19 NRSVue
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. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one., 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.”
Some thoughts on this scripture
This chapter of John's gospel presents Jesus as the giver of divine life. He possesses the fullness of Godly life. This is what he leaves to us in his flesh and blood, the Eucharist. Prayer unites us to the sacrifice of Jesus who, all through his life, not just at Calvary, gave himself to us as teacher, healer, protector - always as loving friend. What is your favourite title for Jesus? Repeat that sometimes in prayer and bring it through the day like a lingering line of a song or a tune.
Jesus is like a good friend here. He wants to keep us with him, just as none of us want to lose a friend. Friendship with Jesus is being with him, and being sent in his name. Our mission as his followers is in the midst of and in the depths of the world. He wants his love and message inserted in the centre of the world, the city, the neighbourhood. In following him in mission and love, we are ourselves sanctified. Prayer helps and completes this daily sanctification, in our growing in closeness to him.
Jesus' first prayer was for those who were with him in the Last Supper room. He prays that they always be in communion with God and for their protection from the evil that surrounds them every day. Like ourselves, they are to find closeness with God and protection from harm even in the midst of the world.