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Jesus said,

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

John 17.20-26


This Gospel passage is part of Jesus 'farewell discourse' - the speech that the writers of John's Gospel put into Jesus mouth at the last gathering of the Apostles before Jesus is captured and crucified - also known as 'The Last Supper.' It is the place in which Jesus' teaching is most concentrated in this Gospel, and much of it is in the form of a prayer which Jesus prays for his followers and for those who will follow them and, in the end, create what we have come to know as 'the Church'.

The key verse, for me, is the last verse in this passage, " that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." - the Divine love, source of all love, is given to us all, that we may know that depth of love, that beyond-understanding love, that profound and life-giving love which Jesus showed and lived in his life, his ministry, and death, and resurrection, in our own lives. Bruce Cockburn sang of the "love which fires the sun, keep me burning." That infinite, powerful love, is the source of our own love. If we tap into such a great love, the world will indeed be changed. 


The Grail Prayer

Lord Jesus,
I give you my hands to do your work.
I give you my feet to go your way.
I give you my eyes to see as you do.
I give you my tongue to speak your words.
I give you my mind that you may think in me.
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me.
Above all,
I give you my heart that you may love in me
your Father and all humankind.
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me,
so that it is you, Lord Jesus,
who live and work and pray in me. Amen