Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (17: 1-11) in which Jesus, looking to heaven, says, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you. Through the power over all humankind that you have given him, let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him. Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

Fr Paul says this Gospel is part of the final discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper and it sums up the life and purpose of Jesus. It is strikingly modelled on the ‘Our Father’ prayer. It has right through it the warmth of the relationship of Jesus to his Father. Over the coming days we will hear six mentions of the ‘Father’, and with the fact that Jesus came to do the will of the Father.

‘Thy Kingdom come’ is represented by the typical Johannine emphasis of knowing the Father. But most striking of all is the stress on the glorification of Jesus. The earliest proclamation about the Resurrection, as we have it in Paul’s writings, is not about the empty tomb, but is about the glory of the risen Christ, that Christ is lifted up to his full participation in the divine glory of the Father.

In a way this Gospel reading, Fr Paul notes, is a meditation on the effects or the culmination of the Ascension for the Risen Christ.