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Jesus’ Last Will and Testament

 

In today’s gospel we see Jesus in prayer with his disciples at the Last Supper. The prayer he prays is sometimes referred to as Jesus’ Last Will and Testament as he outlines the provisions he has made for his disciples on the eve of his death.

In this prayer Jesus intercedes with God on their behalf, they are about to go through the great trauma of his death on the cross. This prayer could be full of despair as even though Jesus has tried to prepare them for his coming death and resurrection, they have failed to understand. Jesus was a very different character than the worldly power they expected. The disciples are ordinary people, few in numbers and they are to be left with the task of taking up the ministry of Jesus and spreading his gospel. Yet Jesus did just that, he left the responsibility of establishing the church on earth to this undistinguished group. In this prayer Jesus leaves them and this work in the hands of the Father, asking him to send the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen them on this journey. Jesus prays, “that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me” The union of the disciples with Father, Son, and Spirit makes the impossible possible. This tiny band of ordinary people were to turn the world upside down. But this prayer is also for us, “I pray not only for these (apostles) but those who through their words will believe in me”, as we follow in their footsteps and spread the gospel of Jesus.

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