What would you say to someone if you knew that you were seeing them for the last time? If you were dying, what would be the last words you would say to your family and friends? If you’ve ever thought about the answers to these questions, then you can appreciate what was going through Jesus’ mind in the Gospel reading from John 17:6-19.
This reading is part of Jesus’ farewell speech to his disciples. He is preparing them for his death, resurrection and ascension. He knows that his disciples will be rejected by the world as he was. In this passage he hands over his mission to his disciples and all believers who come after them. The disciples have spent the last three years in training. Now it is time for them to pass the final test and go into the world.
Jesus’ farewell address can also be our farewell address to the world. When we die to self, we die to our old earthly way of life. We are disconnected from the world and connected to God when we live our lives in God’s mercy and kindness. If we have accepted that mercy and in return we show mercy and kindness to everyone we meet, then we are connected and present to God.