Jesus prayed, “I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”John 17:9-19
I never considered myself a warrior of any kind. But when it came to my children, if there was a battle to be fought on their behalf, I was fierce and unrelenting. My daughters brought out in me a courage and a determination that only love can rouse. They taught me a love and faith so deep that changed me forever. To this day, I am fearless on their account and would stand in for them, taking the hits and the hurts they faced. We cannot always be present to protect the ones we love, but we can pray every minute and put them under God's constant protection. Being so far away right now, I pray for my children every minute.
Jesus knew that the time for separation and distance had come and the disciples would be on their own. He loved them so much, like a parent would, that he entrusted them to the love of the Father, planting them in the strength of divine protection. Love never lets go but is always seeking the best for those we love. Jesus prays to the Father, for his followers, then and now. We are loved like beloved children, whether we feel close or far away. We are assigned to the strong divine arms of love, that surround us in our darkest and most overwhelming moments. Even when we feel we are lost, God is surrounding us with strong arms of protection and love.
Today I ask God's protection and strength for all those who are suffering tremendous loss. May we who are broken by loss know ourselves to be surrounded by loving arms. May we know that our tears are shared by God's eternal love, and that no matter how alone we feel, we can trust that we are protected, love and held close by the strong arms of our tender Savoir.