Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (17: 11-19) in which Jesus prays ‘Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name.’

Fr Paul says this middle part of the high priestly prayer of Jesus centres on the separation of the followers of Jesus from the world.

Jesus has given them his Word and prays that they may remain uncontaminated by the world and the Evil One.

This part justifies the title ‘High Priestly Prayer’ because the priestly function involves sanctifying or consecrating or making holy and, in this case, the making holy of others. Here Jesus speaks of sanctifying himself, so that his followers may not only be protected from the Evil One, but also may be holy as he is holy.

This is a beautiful prayer that Jesus is praying to God but what makes it even more beautiful, says Fr Paul, is that Jesus is praying it to God about us.