We are at the Last Supper. Jesus has spoken to his disciples, preparing them for his death and resurrection. Now he turns in prayer to God his Father. Throughout his life on earth, Jesus was absolutely united with his Father. Everything that he did was done in obedience to the Father’s plan and for the Father’s glory. Now, Jesus says, it is time for his Father to glorify him. He will be lifted up on the Cross as a sign of hope for the whole of humanity. When the Father raises Jesus from the dead, sin and death will be conquered forever.
Jesus also looks forward with care and concern for his disciples. They belong to God and not to the world, because they are living by the values of the Gospel and not those of the world. Jesus prays that, by their faith and constancy, the disciples will give glory to God.
This Sunday falls between the great feasts of the Ascension, when Jesus returns to God the Father, and Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes down on the disciples. The First Reading tells us that the disciples spent that time together, ‘joined in continuous prayer.’ As we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ, he calls us to live by his teachings and to pray constantly. We live in the world, but we do not belong to the world. If we follow Jesus faithfully, our lives will give glory to God.