The gospel today brings us to the great High Priestly Prayer from chapter 17 of John’s gospel. In this prayer we are given a glimpse into the prayer being offered by Jesus before the Father for his disciples until the final consummation of all things. This is Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father interceding for his church.
Jesus prays that his disciples be given eternal life, and “this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” To know, again, is to enter into a living and vital relationship with the one known. “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world,” which is to say that we have been graciously granted access to the very person of God, who Jesus called his Father.
To have life that is fruitful, full, filled with meaning and purpose, and indestructible is to live our lives in an abiding and authentic relationship with God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:14-16).
How many of us spend a great deal of time ‘trying to find ourselves,’ to ‘prove ourselves,’ to gain the acceptance and approval of others, to show that our lives have value. All the while, this is being offered to us as gift. Jesus pours out his Spirit that we might know the truth of who we are. The Spirit reveals the truth of who we are and the true value of our lives: we are the children of God the Father who is the source of eternal life for us. There is no need to ‘find ourselves,’ because our very selves have been revealed to us in Christ by the action of the Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit! Speak Spirit, in the depth of my spirit, revealing the truth to me of the Father’s love and dependability. Let me cry out from the deepest part of my soul, “Abba, Father!”
O heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of truth,
Who are everywhere present and fills all things,
Treasury of good things and Giver of life,
come and abide in us,
and cleanse us from every impurity,
and save our souls,
O Good One.
(Traditional Orthodox Prayer)