Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
"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. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 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. " John 17:1-11
When I was in fifth grade, we had a class trip to New York City. The first part of the day we spent at the New York City Library having a tour. Somehow, when we were gathered outside on the steps, I managed to trip and fall down all the stairs. I did not break anything but was mortified. My mother, who happened to be chaperoning, scooped me up and got me in a cab. She took me on ahead to Horn and Hardarks, the automat, and we sat and had something to drink. Her care and protection in that moment made me able to survive that day and even eventually enjoy it. She wrapped me up, calmed me down, dusted me off and made me able to face the day.
Jesus is having a very personal prayer with his father. Protect them, he requests, like all parents do. We know we cannot protect those we love from all the dangers of this world. We know all to well how accidents, temptations and pressure can make us stray and be broken. But God has been set over us to watch us, protection sent from the divine heart. We believe that we all belong to God, precious and desired by the Creator.
Today I ask God to protect those we love, and to give us all the courage to ask for what we need. Helpless and lost as we may be from time to time, may we remember that God is watching over us, caring for us, and renewing the strength and love we have been given every day.
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.