In verse twenty-four of today’s Gospel Jesus refers to the ‘foundation of the world.’ This could have been translated: ‘in the beginning.’ The reference is significant for the point that Jesus is trying to make to His disciples. He is telling them that His relationship with the Father is eternal. Thus there was not a time when it was not. This is quite a difficult concept to grasp, as our minds and language are so time conditioned that it is difficult to talk about the state of being outside of time.
The best we can do is to use the beginning of time as our reference point. In the next line Jesus refers to the fact that the world has not known the Father. Thus, Jesus contrasts His eternal knowledge of the Father with the lack of knowledge of the Father of the world and ends up assuring us that His, Jesus’ desire, is that we should share in His knowledge of the Father. We are invited into the relationship that Jesus has with His Father and called to live as sons and daughters of the Father in and through the life of Jesus. This is why Paul will tell us in the Letter to the Galatians that we have to come to the point where it is no longer we who are living but it is Christ living in us who is our life! (Gal 2:20-21)
Jesus promises us that He will not leave us as orphans. What a way to fulfil His promise – inviting us to share in His relationship with God the Father. This priestly prayer of Jesus becomes the prayer and mission of the whole Church in that when we evangelise people it is to this relationship with the Father that we seek to draw all men and women. The true disciple never seeks to draw attention or glory to his or her self, but seeks only to reveal the glory and love of God to those whom they are evangelising. This is the Good News that we preach – namely that God desires to restore our heavenly inheritance as His children.
Does humility come easily to me or is it a battle to stay out of the limelight? Do I tend to draw unnecessary attention to myself or am I happy to just serve in whatever way bests suits my gifts and the need of the community at any particular time and place.
Holy Spirit, help me to open my heart more deeply to the purifying love of God so that the pride within me can be burnt away, and humility can grow more and more each day.