John 17

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus[a]

Chapter 17

Knowledge of the Father and the Son.[b] 1 After saying this, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,

“Father, the hour has come.
Glorify your Son,
so that your Son may glorify you,
2 since you have given him authority
over all people,
so that he may give eternal life
to all those you have given him.
3 And eternal life is this:
to know you,
the only true God,
and the one you have sent,
Jesus Christ.
4 “I have glorified you on earth
by completing the work
that you entrusted to me.
5 So now, Father,
glorify me in your presence
with the glory I had with you
before the world began.

The Son and the Disciples[c]

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.
7 Now they have come to understand
that everything you gave me is from you.
8 For the words you gave to me
I have given to them,
and they have accepted them
and know with certainty
that I have come from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
9 “It is for them that I pray.
I do not pray for the world,
but for those you gave me
because they are yours
10 Everything I have is yours,
and everything you have is mine,
and through them I have been glorified.
11 I will remain no longer in the world,
but they will still be in the world
while I will be coming to you.
“Holy Father,
protect by the power of your name
those you have given me,
so that they may be one,
even as we are one.
12 While I was with them
I protected them by your name
that you have given me,
and I kept them safe.
Not one of them was lost,
except the one destined to be lost,[d]
so that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
13 “Now I am coming to you,
and I say these things
while I am still in the world
so that my joy may come
to full measure in them.
14 I have given them your word,
and the world has hated them
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
15 I am not asking you
to take them out of the world,
but I do ask you
to protect them from the evil one.
16 They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
17 “Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world,
so have I sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I consecrate myself,
so that they too may be consecrated in truth.

The Disciples and the Church To Come[e]

20 “I pray not only on behalf of these,
but also for those who through their word
will come to believe in me.
21 May they all be one.
As you, Father, are in me
and I in you,
may they also be in us
so that the world may believe
that you have sent me.
22 “The glory that you have given me
I have given to them,
so that they may be one,
as we are one,
23 I in them and you in me,
that they may become completely one,
and thus the world may know
that you have sent me
and that you have loved them
even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, allow those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may behold my glory,
which you have bestowed on me
because you loved me
before the foundation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father,
the world has not known you;
I have known you,
and they have known that you have sent me.
26 I have made your name known to them,
and I will make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me
may be in them, and I in them.”

Footnotes

  1. John 17:1 The hour has come for Jesus to do the final action that shows how far his union with the Father reaches and how great is the gift he makes of himself to human beings for their salvation. This sublime prayer reveals the ultimate meaning of his sacrifice; the title that has been given to the chapter, the “priestly prayer,” is well deserved. But it is also a “missionary” prayer, since at the moment when there seems to be nothing but failure and isolation, Jesus adheres to God’s plan. He is entirely the One Sent, who completes the mission given to him by the Father. He thinks only of this mission that his disciples must continue.
  2. John 17:1 The word “glory” speaks of the greatness of God, of his final intervention, of his presence that gives strength, meaning, and fulfillment to people. Paradoxically, this glory is revealed in the destiny of Jesus, glory that is manifested during the Passion. One observes the love that was given to Christ for all eternity, love that became eternal life, shared by believers.
  3. John 17:6 People who have accepted his word and recognized his truth live in close union with Jesus, which is a wonderful gift from the Father. Jesus calls for their fidelity.
    People who have accepted the words of Jesus are no longer trapped in worthlessness, emptiness, and falsehood—in everything that is a denial of God and what is here called “the world.” Their future is not in running away but in being insulted and giving testimony. The trial of Jesus continues in these people. May they remain in truth and faith; may they not become a prey of the falsehood, worthlessness, and unbelief that are the face of the Evil One or of Evil.
  4. John 17:12 The one destined to be lost (literally, “The son of perdition”): Judas the traitor (see Jn 13:18). The literal translation reflects a Hebraism, meaning one who is destined for destruction, and this by his own free action. It is by this free choice that the Scripture is fulfilled.
  5. John 17:20 The prayer of Jesus indicates the destiny of his followers for all times and places. He asks what is essential for them: that they live in the bonds of peace and unity that express their union with Christ. Here is the mystery of the Church in the light of the sacrifice of Christ: the Church is anchored in the inexpressible love of the Son and the Father; this is the mystery of communion. Christians testify to this communion when they live in it. Hence, they will discover more and more, in terms of experience, who Christ is and who the Father is: the glory of Christ and the name of the Father will be unveiled to their eyes as the highest realities.

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