1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; 5 and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made."
2177 Above, our Lord consoled his disciples by example and encouragement; here he comforts them by his prayer. In this prayer he does three things: first, he prays for himself; secondly, for the group of the disciples (v 6); thirdly, for all the faithful (v 20). He does three things with the first: first, he makes his request; secondly, he states the fruit of this request, that the Son may glorify you; thirdly, he mentions why his request deserves to be heard (v 4). In regard to the first point: first, we see the order he followed in his prayer; secondly, the way he prayed; thirdly, the words he used.
2178 The order he followed was fitting, because he prayed after first encouraging them. So we read, When Jesus had spoken these words. This gives us the example to help by our prayers those we are teaching by our words, because religious teaching has its greatest effect in the hearts of those who hear it when it is supported by a prayer which asks for divine help: "Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph" (2 Thess 3:1). Again, our sermon should end with a prayer: "The sum of our words is: 'he is the all.'"
2179 The way he prayed is that he lifted up his eyes to heaven. There is a difference between the prayer of Christ and our own prayer: our prayer arises solely from our needs, while the prayer of Christ is more for our instruction, for there was no need for him to pray for himself, since together with his Father he answers prayers. He instructs us here by his words and actions. He teaches us by his actions in lifting up his eyes, so that we also will lift our eyes to heaven when we pray: "To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!" (Ps 123:1). And not just our eyes, but also our actions, by referring them to God: "Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven" (Lam 3:41). He teaches us by his words, for he said his prayer publicly, and said, so that those whom he taught by teaching he might also teach by praying. We are taught not just by the words of Christ, but also by his actions.
2180 His words are effective; thus he says, Father, the hour has come. Their effectiveness is caused by three things. First, by the love of the one praying. For the Son is praying to his Father and petitioning the Father because of his love for the Father. So he says, Father, to show us that we should pray to God with the affection of his children: "And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me" (Jer 3:19).
Secondly, his prayer is effective because of the need for this prayer; for as he says, the hour has come, for his passion, about which he had said before: "My hour has not yet come" (2:4). The hour, I say, not the season, not the day, because Christ was to be seized right away. Not an hour fixed but fate, but chosen by his own plan and good pleasure. And it is appropriate that right before he prays he mentions his troubles, because God especially hears us when we are troubled: "In my troubles I cried to the Lord, and he heard me" [Ps 120:1]; "Since we do not know what to do, we can only turn our eyes to you" [2 Chron 20:12]. Thirdly, his prayer is effective because of its content, glorify your Son.
2181 But the Son of God is Wisdom itself, and this has the greatest glory: "Wisdom is radiant and unfading" (Wis 6:13). How then can he speak of glory being glorified, especially since he is the splendor of the Father (Heb 1:3)? We should say that Christ asked to be glorified by the Father in three ways. First, in his passion, and this was done by the many miracles which occurred: for the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent, and graves were opened. This was referred to before (12:28): "I have glorified it," by the miracles occurring before the passion, "and I will glorify it again," during the passion. With this understanding Christ says, glorify me in my passion by showing that I am your Son. And so the centurion, after seeing the miracles, said: "Truly, this was the Son of God" (Mt 27:54).
Secondly, Christ sought to be glorified in his resurrection. His holy soul was always joined to God and possessed glory from the vision of God: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (1:14). From the beginning of his conception, his soul was glorified, but in the resurrection he had glory of body also, referred to in "Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:21). Thirdly, he sought to be glorified in the knowledge of all people: "Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honor in the presence of the elders" (Wis 8:10).
And so he says, glorify your Son, that is, show the entire world that I am your Son, in the strict sense: by birth, not by creation (in opposition to Arius, who said that the Son of God is a creature); in truth, not just in name (against Sabellius, who said that the same person is now called Father and then called Son); by origin, not adoption (in opposition to Nestorius, who said that Christ was an adopted son).
2182 Now we see the fruit of his being glorified: first, the fruit is mentioned; secondly, it is explained, since you have given him power...
2183 The fruit of the Son's being glorified is that the Father is glorified; thus he says, that the Son may glorify you. When Arius observed that our Lord said, glorify your Son, he supposed that the Father is greater than the Son. This is true if we consider the Son in his human nature: "The Father in greater than I" (14:28). Consequently, Christ adds, that the Son may glorify you (in the knowledge of men) to show he is equal to the Father as regards the divine nature. Now glory is renown joined with praise. Formerly, God was renowned among the Jews: "In Judah God is known" (Ps 76:1); but later, through his Son, he was known throughout the entire world. Holy people also increase God's renown by their good works: "That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5:16). Above Christ said: "I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge" (8:50).
2184 Now we have the fruit of Christ's request: first, we see the benefit conferred on us by Christ; secondly, he shows that this benefit is related to the glory of the Father (v 3).
1285 He says, that the Son may glorify you, and this since you have given him power over all flesh. We should know that what acts in virtue of another tends in its effect to reveal that other: for the action of a principle which proceeds from another principle manifests this principle. Now whatever the Son has he has from the Father; and thus it is necessary that what the Son does manifests the Father. Thus he says to the Father, you have given him power over all human beings. By this power the Son ought to lead them to a knowledge of t he Father, which is eternal life. This is the meaning of, that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, that is, over all human beings: "All flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Lk 3:6).
You have given him [this power], says Hilary, by giving, through an eternal generation, the divine nature to the Son, from which the Son has the power to embrace all things: "All things have been delivered to me by my Father" (Mt 11:27); "For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing" (5:20). Or, in another way, you have given this power to Christ in his human nature because this nature is united with your Son to form one person. And in this way flesh has power over flesh: "All authority [power] in heaven and on earth has been given me" (Mt 28:18); "And to him," that is, the Son of man, "was given dominion and glory and kingdom" (Dan 7:14).
He says, Father, you have given him power: Father, just as you have power, not to wrest things from your human creatures, but to give yourself to them, so you have given power to Christ in his human nature, power over all flesh, so that he may give eternal life to all whom you have given him, through eternal predestination: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them" (10:27).
2186 But is the eternal life given to men related to the glory of the Father? Indeed it is, for this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent, who was sent so that the Father could be glorified by being known by men.
Two things need explanation here. First, why he says, this is eternal life, that they may know. Note that strictly speaking, we call those things living which move themselves to their activities. Those things which are only moved by other things are not living, but dead. And so all those activities to which an active thing moves itself are called living activities, for example, to will, to understand, to sense, to grow and to move about. Now a thing is said to be alive in two senses. First because it has living activities in potency, as one who is asleep is said to have sensitive life because it has the power to move itself about, although it is not actually doing so. Or, something is said to be alive because it is actually engaged in living activities, and then it is alive in the full sense. For this reason one who is asleep is said to be half alive. Among living activities the highest is the activity of the intellect, which is to understand. And thus the activity of the intellect is living activity in the highest degree. Now just as the sense in act is identified with the sense‑object in act, so also the intellect in act is identified with the thing understood in act. Since then intellectual understanding is living activity, and to understand is to live, it follows that to understand an eternal reality is to live with an eternal life. But God is an eternal reality, and so to understand and see God is eternal life.
Accordingly our Lord says that eternal life lies in vision, in seeing, that is, it consists in this basically and in its whole substance. But it is love which moves one to this vision, and is in a certain way its fulfillment: for the completion and crown of beatitude (happiness) is the delight experienced in the enjoyment of God, and this is caused by charity. Still, the substance of beatitude consists in vision, seeing: "We shall see him as he is" (1 Jn 3:2).
2187 Secondly, we should explain the phrase, you the only true God. It is clear that Christ was speaking to the Father, so when he says, you the only true God, it seems that only God the Father is true God. The Arians agree with this, for they say that the Son differs by essence from the Father, since the Son is a created substance, although he shares in the divinity more perfectly and to a greater degree than do all other creatures. So much more that the Son is called God, but not the true God, because he is not God by nature, which only the Father is.
Hilary answers this by saying that when we want to know whether a certain thing is true, we can determine it from two things: its nature and its power. For true gold is that which has the species of true gold; and we determine this if it acts like true gold. Therefore, if we maintain that the Son has the true nature of God, because the Son exercises the true activities of divinity, it is clear that the Son is true God. Now the Son does perform true works of divinity, for we read, "Whatever he [the Father] does, that the Son does likewise" (5:19); and again he said, "For as the Father has life in himself," which is not a participated life, "so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself" (5:26); "That we may be in his true Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" [1 Jn 5:20].
According to Hilary, he says, you the only true God, in a way that does not exclude another. He does not say without qualification, you the only, but adds and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. It is like saying: that they know you and Jesus Christ whom you have sent to be the one and only true God. This is a pattern of speaking that we also use when we say [in the Gloria]: "You alone, Jesus Christ, are the most high, together with the Holy Spirit." No mention is made of the Holy Spirit because whenever the Father and the Son are mentioned, and especially in matters pertaining to the grandeur of the divinity, the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of the Father and Son, is implied.
2188 Or, according to Augustine in his work, The Trinity, he says this to exclude the error of those who claim that it is false to say that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; while it is true to say that the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit are one God. The reason for this opinion was that the Apostle said that "Christ [is] the power of God and the Wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:24). Now it is clear that we cannot call anyone God unless he has divine power and wisdom. Therefore, since these people held that the Father was wisdom, which is the Son, they held further that the Father considered without the Son would not be God. And the same applies to the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The incarnation of the Son of God is indicated by saying that he was sent. So when he says here, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent, we are led to understand that in eternal life we will also rejoice in the humanity of Christ: "Your eyes will see the king," that is, Christ, "in his beauty" (Is 33:17); "He will go in and out and find pasture" (10:9).
2189 Now we see why Christ's prayer deserves to be heard: first, he mentions why he deserves this; secondly, he states the reward, Father, glorify me.
2190 He states that he merited to be heard for two reasons. First, because of his teaching, when he says, I glorified you on earth, that is, in the minds of men, by manifesting you in my teaching: "Glorify the Lord in teaching" [Is 24:15]. Secondly, I glorified you by my obedience; thus he said, I ... having accomplished the work. He uses the past tense in place of the future: I glorified for "I will glorify," and accomplished in place of "I will accomplish." He does this because these things had already begun, and also because the hour of his passion, when his work would be accomplished, was very near.
"The work which you gave me to do," not merely ordered. It is not enough [for a work to be accomplished] for Christ and us to be ordered by God, because whatever Christ as man accomplished and whatever we can do is God's gift, God gave us this: "I knew that I could not be continent unless God gave it" [Wis 8:21]. You gave me, I say, by the gift of grace, to do, that is, to accomplish.
2191 The reward for Christ's obedience and teaching is glory: "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name" (Phil 2:8). And so Christ asks for his reward, saying, and now, Father, glorify me. According to Augustine this does not mean, as some have thought, that the human nature of Christ, which was assumed by the Word, would at some time be changed into the Word, and the human nature changed into God. This would be to annihilate the [human] nature of Christ, for when a first thing is changed into another in such a way that this other is not enriched, the first thing seems to have been annihilated [because it produced no effect]. But nothing can be added to enrich the divine Word of God.
Thus, for Augustine, and now, Father, glorify me, refers to the predestination of Christ as man. Something can be had by us both in the divine predestination and in actual fact. Now Christ, in his human nature, as all other human beings, was predestined by God the Father: "He was predestined Son of God" [Rom 1:4]. With this in mind he says, and now ‑ after I have glorified you, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do ‑ Father, glorify me in your own presence, that is, have me sit at your right hand, with the glory which I had with you before the world was made, that is to say, with the glory I had in your predestination: "The Lord Jesus ... was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19).
2192 Hilary gives the other interpretation.
The glory of human beings will be in a certain way similar to the glory of God,
although unequal. Now Christ, as God, had glory with the Father from all
eternity, a divine glory and equal to that of the Father. Accordingly, what he
is asking for here is that he be glorified in his human nature, that is to say,
that what was flesh in time and changed by corruption, should receive the glory
of that brightness which is outside of time. He is asking not for an equal
glory, but for one which is similar, which is to say that just as the Son is
immortal and sitting at the right hand of the Father from all eternity, so he
now become immortal in his human nature and exalted to the right hand of God.
6 I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me
out of the world; thine they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept
your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you;
8 for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received
them and know in truth that I came (exivi) from you; and they have
believed that you did send me. 9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for
the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; 10 all mine
are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11a And now I am no
more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
6 I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; thine they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; 8 for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came (exivi) from you; and they have believed that you did send me. 9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; 10 all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11a And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
2193 Above, our Lord prayed for himself; here he prays for the society of his apostles: first, he states his reasons for praying; secondly, what he is praying for (v 11). He does two things about the first: first, he mentions his reasons for praying founded on his disciples; secondly, the reasons founded on himself (v 9). From the point of view of his disciples, he mentions three reasons for praying for them: first, because they were taught by him; secondly because they had been given to him; thirdly, because of their obedience and devotion.
2194 He mentions the first reason when he says, I have manifested your name. We could add here, according to Augustine, "that the Son may glorify you" (v 1). The Father has already received some of this glory because I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world.
Chrysostom reads it this way. I say that I have finished the work you gave me to do. What this work was he adds by saying, I have manifested your name to the men .... This is the characteristic work of the Son of God, who is the Word, and the characteristic of a word is to manifest the one speaking it: "No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Mt 11:27); "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known" (1:18).
2195 There is a problem with this: Since God the Father was known to men before Christ came ‑ "In Judah God is known" (Ps 76:1) ‑ why does Christ say, I have manifested your name. I answer that the name of God the Father can be known in three ways. In one way, as the creator of all things; and this is the way the Gentiles knew him: "His invisible nature ... has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made" (Rom 1:20); "God has shown it to them" (Rom 1:19). In another way [the Father can be known] as the only one to whom the veneration of latria [adoration] is to be given. He was not known to the Gentiles in this way, for they gave the veneration of latria to other gods. He was known in this way only to the Jews, for they alone had been commanded in their law to sacrifice only to the Lord: "Whoever sacrifices to any god, save to the Lord only, shall be utterly destroyed" (Ex 22:20). Thirdly, he can be known as the Father of an only Son, Jesus Christ. He was not known to anyone in this way, but did become so known through his Son when the apostles believed that Christ was the Son of God.
2196 He gives the second reason why he prays for them when he says, whom you gave me. First, he mentions that they were given to him, from which we can see the reason or way they were given. He says, whom you gave me, that is, it is to these that I have manifested your name. But did Christ possess them as the Father possessed them? Yes he did, insofar as he was God. But he says, whom you gave me, that is, to me as man, to listen to me and obey me: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (6:44). Those who come to Christ do so through the gift and grace of God: "For by grace you have been saved ... it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8). You gave them to me out of the world, that is, they were chosen from the world: "I chose you out of the world" (5:19). For even though the entire world was given to the Son insofar as he was God, the apostles were given to the Son to obey. He mentions the reason for this giving when he says, thine they were. This is like saying: the reason they were given is that thine they were, and mine, and predestined from eternity to attain by grace a future glory: "He chose us in him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4). And you gave them to me, that is, by making them adhere to me you accomplished in fact what was previously predestined for them with me and in me.
2197 The third reason for praying for the disciples, based on their devotion, is mentioned when he says, they have kept your word. First, he mentions their devotion to the Son; secondly, he shows that this devotion gives glory to the Father, they know that everything that you have given to me is from you; thirdly, we see the reason this gives glory to the Father: for I have given them the words which you gave me.
2198 As to the first: he had said that you gave them to me because thine they were. And they were devoted because they have kept your word, in their hearts by faith, and in their actions by fulfilling your words: "Keep my commandments and live" (Prv 7:2); "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love" (15:10).
2199 Father, the fact that they kept your word in this way gives you glory. For this is my word: everything I have I have from you. Now they know that everything that you have given me, that is, to your Son in his human nature, is from you: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (1:14), that is to say, we saw him as having everything from the Father. And because they know this, the Father receives glory in their minds.
2200 The reason this gives glory, that is, that this obedience of the disciples to the Son gives glory to the Father, is stated when he says, for I have given them the words which you gave me. First he states that knowledge comes from the Father to the disciples; secondly, that the minds of the disciples are led back to the Father.
2201 It is stated that knowledge is given in two ways. In the first way the Father gives to the Son. Thus he says: the words which you gave me, in my eternal generation, in which the Father gave words to the Son, although the Son himself is the Word of the Father. These words are nothing else than the patterns or plans of everything which is to be done. And all these patterns the Father gave to the Son in generating him. Or, it could be said that the you gave me refers to the humanity of Christ, because from the very instant of his conception the most holy soul of Christ was full with all knowledge of the truth, "full of grace and truth" (1:14), that is, with the knowledge of every truth: "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3).
The other giving of knowledge is from Christ to his disciples, so he says, I have given them, by teaching them, both from without and from within: "For all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you" (15:15). By saying this he shows that he is the mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), because what he received from the Father he passed on to the disciples: "I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord" (Deut 5:5).
2202 He mentions that the minds of the disciples were led back to the Father when he says, and they have received them. Two kinds of receiving are mentioned, corresponding to the two kinds of giving previously stated. One kind of receiving corresponds to the second kind of giving [the giving by Christ to the disciples] and as to this he says, and they have received them, from me, without resisting: "The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious" (Is 50:5); "Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me" (6:45). And receiving them, they know in truth that I came from you, that you have given me all things, and this corresponds to the first kind of giving [of the Father to the Son].
2203 According to Augustine the words that follow, and they have believed that you did send me, are added to explain the previous sentence, "I came from you." Knowledge of God is of two kinds: one is perfect, by the clear vision of glory; the other is imperfect, through faith: "For now we see in a mirror dimly," in the second way, "but then face to face," in the first way (1 Cor 13:12). He says [in the previous sentence], they know in truth that I came from you. But what kind of knowledge was this? The knowledge of our homeland, heaven? No, it was the knowledge of faith. And so he adds, and they have believed, indicating that to know this is to believe it. They have believed I say, in truth, that is, firmly and strongly: "Do you now believe?" that is, firmly. "The hour is coming" when you will believe completely (16:31). He uses the past tense, have believed, in place of the future tense because of his certainty about the future, and because of the infallibility of divine predestination.
Or, according to Chrysostom, he uses the past tense to indicate that these things have already happened, because they had already begun. We can harmonize both of these interpretations because all these things had already begun, but they still remained to be completed. Thus, in reference to what has already begun, he speaks in the past tense, but in reference to their completion he speaks in the future, because they would be accomplished by the coming of the Holy Spirit.
2204 But what did they believe? That you did send me: "God sent his Son" [Gal 4:4]. According to Augustine this is the same as "I came (exire, come, come forth) from you" (v 8). This does not agree with Hilary for whom, as was said, "to come forth" (exire) refers to the eternal generation of the Son, and "to be sent" refers to the incarnation of the Son. But I say that we can speak of Christ in two ways. In one way, from the point of view of his divinity; and then, insofar as he is the Son of God "to come forth" and "to be sent" are not the same, as Hilary says. Or, we can speak of Christ from the point of view of his humanity; and then, insofar as he is the Son of man, "to come forth" and "to be sent" are the same, as Augustine says.
2205 Now we see the reasons, founded on himself, why Christ prayed for his disciples. He mentions three reasons.
2206 One is based on the authority he had received over them. In reference to this he says, I am praying for them, that is, the disciples. First we see the reason; secondly, its explanation, for they are yours.
The reason why a person's prayer should be heard and why he should pray for others is that they belong to him in a special way; for general prayers are less likely to be heard. Accordingly he says, I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world, that is, the lovers of the world, but for those whom you have given me, especially as obedient disciples, although all things are mine, under my authority: "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage" (Ps 2:8).
2207 To the contrary, it seems that he prayed for all: "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:1); "God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4). We should say to this that Christ did pray for all because his prayer is powerful enough to benefit the entire world. Yet it does not produce its effect in all, but only in the elect and saints of God. This is because of the obstacles present in the worldly.
2208 He gives a reason for why he prays for them when he says, for they are yours, that is, by eternal predestination. But they were not yours in such a way that the Son could not have them; nor were they given to the Son in such a way that they were taken from the Father. Thus he says, all mine are yours, and yours are mine. This indicates the equality of the Son with the Father, for the Son, insofar as he is God, has from all eternity everything that the Father has.
2209 Note that the Father has certain things that belong to his essence, like wisdom, goodness, and things of that kind; and these things are nothing else but his essence. And the Son asserts that he himself has this when, speaking of the procession of the Holy Spirit, he says: "He will receive from me and declare it to you" [16:14]. This is because "All that the Father has is mine" (16:15). He says all [using a plural form], because while all these things are one in reality, we apprehend them with many ideas.
Secondly, the Father has certain things that relate to those who possess holiness or sanctity, who are set apart for him through faith, such as all the saints and the elect, of whom it was said, "thine they were" (v 6). All these things, too, the Son asserts that he has when he says here, speaking of them, and yours are mine, because they have been predestined to enjoy the Son as well as the Father.
Thirdly, the Father has some things in a general way because of their origin, for example, all created things: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Ps 24:1). All these too belong to the Son. Thus in the parable of the prodigal son, the father says to his older son: "Son ... all that is mine is yours" (Lk 15:31).
2210 The second reason why Christ prayed for his disciples is based on the glory he had in them: for they already knew something of his glory, and would know it more fully: "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Pet 1:16).
2211 The third reason why he prays for them is his coming
physical absence; so he says, and now I am no more in the world. Note
that one is said to be "in the world" in two senses. First, by clinging to the
world by one's affections: "For all that is in the world [is] the lust of the
flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (1 Jn 2:16). This is not
the sense in which Christ was no longer in the world, since he never clung to
it with his affections. He is no longer in the world in another way, that is,
by his physical presence, for while he had been in the world physically, he
would soon physically leave it. But they, the disciples, are in the world,
physically present. And I am coming to you, as regards my humanity, to
share your glory and to be seated at your right hand. So it is fitting that I
pray for those whom I will soon physically leave.
11b "Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have
given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I
kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none
of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be
fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the
world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them
your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even
as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that you should take them out of the
world, but that you should keep them from evil. 16 They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world."
11b "Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
2212 After Christ stated his reasons for praying for the apostles, he here makes his petitions: first, he asks for their protection; secondly, for their sanctification, sanctify them (v 17). They are to be protected from evil, and sanctified by good. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he asks for their protection; secondly, he mentions why they need protection (v 12).
2213 In regard to the first, four things must be considered: whom he asks; what he asks for; for whom he asks; and why he asks. The one he asks is the Father; so he says, Father: and with good reason, for the Father is the source of every good: "Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" (Jas 1:17). He adds, Holy, because the Father is also the source and origin of all holiness and because, in the last analysis, he was asking for the sanctification of the apostles: "You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev 19:2); "There is none holy like the Lord" (1 Sam 2:2).
He asks for their protection, saying, keep them, for as we read: "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). For our good consists not only in receiving existence from God, but also in being kept in existence by God, because as Gregory says: "All things would return to nothingness, if the hand of the Almighty did not uphold them" ; "upholding the universe by his word of power" (Heb 1:3). Accordingly, the Psalmist prays: "Keep me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in you" [Ps 16:1]. Now we are kept from evil and from sin in the name of God; thus he says, keep them in your name, that means, by the power of your name and of your knowledge, for in these lay our glory and our well‑being: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses. But we will call upon the name of the Lord our God" [Ps 20:7].
He is praying for those who were given to him; he says, which you have given me: "Consider the work of God; who can make straight what he has made crooked?" (Eccl 7:13). For one can be kept from evil only by God's choice, which is indicated when he says, which you have given me, that is, by a gift of grace, so that they remain with me: "Not all men can receive this precept, but only those to whom it is given" (Mt 19:11). Those who are given to Christ in this way are kept from evil.
Then he states why he is asking for their protection, saying, that they may be one, even as we are one. This can be connected with what has gone before in two ways. In the first way, it shows the way they will be kept or protected. Then the meaning is: They will be kept and protected by being kept as one. For a thing is preserved in existence as long as it remains one, and it ceases to be when it become divided: "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste" (Mt 12:23). Accordingly, the Church and people can be preserved if they remain one. In another way this phrase can state the purpose of their being kept. Then the meaning is this: Let them be kept or protected so that they may be one: for our entire perfection lies in a unity of spirit: "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph 4:3); "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Ps 133:1).
2214 He adds, even as we are one. This causes a problem. The Father and Son are one in essence. And so we also will be one in essence? This is not true. The solution is that the perfection of each thing is nothing but sharing a likeness to God; for we are good to the extent that we resemble God. Accordingly, our unity contributes to our perfection to the extent that it shares in the unity of God. Now there is a twofold unity in God. There is a unity of nature: "I and the Father are one" (10:30); and a unity of love in the Father and Son, which is a unity of spirit. Both of these unities are found in us, not in an equal way, but with a certain likeness. The Father and the Son have the same individual nature [literally "numerically the same nature"], while we have the same specific nature. Again, they are one by a love which is not a participated love and a gift from another; rather, this love proceeds from them, for the Father and Son love themselves by the Holy Spirit. We are one by participating in a higher love.
2215 Then he mentions why they need this protection (v 2). They need it for two reasons: because he is leaving them; and because the world hates them (v 14). He does three things about the first: he recalls the eagerness with which he protected them while he was with them; secondly, he states he is leaving (v 13a); thirdly, he mentions why he is saying these things (v 13b). Three things are done with the first: first, he mentions the way he protected them; secondly, his obligation to protect them; and thirdly, the effectiveness of his protection.
2216 The way they were protected was appropriate, because it was by the power of the Father. Accordingly, he says, While I was with them, that is, physically present ‑ "Afterward he appeared on earth and lived among men" (Bar 3:37) ‑ I, the Son of man, kept, that is, protected them from evil and sin, not by human power, but rather by divine power, because it was in your name. This name is also common to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ‑ "Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19) ‑ because the Father and the Son are one God, and because the name of "Son" is implied in the name "Father," for one who has a son is called a Father.
Note that before, when Christ denied that he had a devil, he did not deny that he was a Samaritan, that is, a guardian, because Christ is a guardian: "Watchman, what of the night?" (Is 21:11), that is, the night of this world, for like a shepherd, Christ guards his flock.
2217 His obligation to protect them is stated when he says, which you have given me, for a guardian is bound to protect those placed in his care: "Keep this man" (1 Kgs 20:39); "I will take my stand to watch" (Hab 2:1). This is the way a superior acts when he carefully watches over those entrusted to his care: "And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Lk 2:8).
2218 The effectiveness of Christ's protection is complete, because none of them is lost: "My sheep hear my voice ... and no one shall snatch them out of my hand" (10:27); "Every one who ... believes in him [the Son] should have eternal life" (6:40). One person is excluded, that is, the son of perdition, Judas. He is called the son of perdition as though foreknown and foreordained to eternal perdition. In this way those destined to die are called the sons of death: "You are the sons of death" [1 Sam 26:16]; "You traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte ... and you make him a son of death twice as much as yourself" [Mt 23: 15].
A Gloss says that a "son of death is one who is predestined to perdition." It is not customary to say that one is predestined to evil, and so here we should understand predestination in its general meaning of knowledge or orientation. Actually, predestination is always directed to what is good, because it has the double effect of grace and glory; and it is God who directs us to each of these. Two things are involved in reprobation: guilt, and punishment in time. And God ordains a person to only one of these, that is, punishment, and even this is not for its own sake. That the scripture, in which you predicted that he would betray me ‑ "Wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me" (Ps 109:2) ‑ might be fulfilled.
2219 But now I am coming to you, physically leaving them: "I am leaving the world and going to the Father" (16:28). He had said before, "I kept them in your name," so that some would not fall into unbelief by misunderstanding this present statement (v 13) to mean that he could not protect them after he had left, or that the Father was not protecting them before. The Father was protecting them before. And the Son could also protect them after he left.
2220 He gives the reason why he said these things when he says, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. It is like saying: I am like a man who is praying, and I am speaking these things to console my disciples, who think that I am merely human, so that at least they can be consoled because I am entrusting them to you, Father, whom they believe to be greater than I, and so they can rejoice in your protection. This is the interpretation of Chrysostom.
In the interpretation of Augustine, this present statement is related to "that they may be one, even as we are one" (v 11). In this case, these words (v 13) indicate the fruit of being one. It is like saying: that they may have my joy, by which they can rejoice in me, or, which they have received from me, fulfilled in themselves. They will obtain this joy by a unity of spirit, which will give them the joy of eternal life, which is full joy. And so this joy follows upon being one, because unity and peace produce perfect joy: "Those who follow plans for peace have joy" [Prv 12:20]; "The fruit of the Spirit is joy" (Gal 5:22).
2221 Now we have another reason why they need protection, which is because of the hatred of the world. First he mentions the benefit he had given his disciples; secondly, the hatred of the world for them (v 14); and thirdly, he asks the Father's help to protect them (v 15).
2222 He says, I have given them your word, which I have received from you: "I have given them the words which you gave me" (17:7). Or, I have given, that is, I will give them, by the inspiration of the Paraclete, your word, that is, the word about yourself, which is the greatest of gifts and benefits: "I will give you a good gift, do not abandon my law" [Prv 4:2].
2223 The result of this is the hatred of the world: because they have received your word, the world has hated them: "Blessed are you when men hate you" (Lk 6:22); "Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you" (1 Jn 3:13). The reason for this hatred is that they have left the world. For the word of God causes us to leave the world since it unites us to God, and one cannot be joined to God without leaving the world, for one who loves the world does not have a perfect love for God. Thus he says, because they are not of the world: "I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (15:19). For it is natural for one to love others who are similar: "Every beast loves its own kind, and hates the others" [Sir 13:19]; "The very sight of him is a burden to us," and this is "because his manner of life is unlike that of others" (Wis 2:15).
2224 Then he mentions the model according to which they are not of the world when he says, even as I am not of the world. This should be understood to refer to their affections, for just as Christ was not in the world by his affections, so neither were they. It does not apply to their origin, because at one time they were of the world, while Christ was never of the world because even considering his birth in the flesh he was of the Holy Spirit: "You are of this world, I am not of this world" (8:23).
2225 Then he asks for help in facing this hatred when he says, I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from evil. First, he makes his prayer; secondly, he gives the reason for what he asks, they are not of the world.
2226 He mentions two things in the first. He says he is not asking for one thing, which is that they be taken out of the world. But how can they be taken out of the world who are not of the world? We should say that they are not of the world as regards their affections, as we said before. But they are of the world by continuing to be physically present in it, and in this way he does not want them to be taken out of the world. This is because they would be of benefit to the faithful whom they would bring to the faith: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15).
He asks for something else, namely, that while they remain physically in the world the Father should keep them from evil, that is, worldly evil; for it is difficult for a person who lives among those who are bad to remain free from evil, especially since the entire world is set in evil: "When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you" (Is 43:2).
2227 He gives the reason for this request when he says, they are not of the world. This seems to be a useless repetition since he had just said the same thing. But, indeed, it is not useless, because they are spoken in different contexts. They were spoken before to show why the disciples were hated by the world; here they are spoken to show why they should be protected by God.
We can see from this that the
reason why the saints are hated by the world is the same as the reason why God
loves them, that is, their disdain for the world: "Has not God chosen those who
are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has
promised to those who love him?" (Jas 2:5). Therefore, whatever good a person
does makes this person hateful to the world, but loved by God: "We sacrifice
what the Egyptians worship" [Ex 8:27].
17 "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As
you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for
their sake I consecrate [sanctify] myself, that they also may be consecrated
[sanctified] in truth."
17 "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate [sanctify] myself, that they also may be consecrated [sanctified] in truth."
2228 Above, our Lord prayed for the protection of his disciples; here he prays for their sanctification. First, he asks for their sanctification; secondly, he mentions why they need to be sanctified (v 18); thirdly, he says this sanctification has already begun (v 19).
2229 He says: I have prayed that my disciples be kept from evil; but this is not enough unless they are perfected by what is good: "Depart from evil, and do good" (Ps 37:27). Accordingly he prays, sanctify them, that is, perfect them and make them holy. And do this in the truth, that is, in me, your Son, who am the truth (14:6). It is like saying: Make them share in my perfection and holiness (sanctity). And thus he adds, your word, that is, your Word, is the truth. The meaning is then: Sanctify them in me, the truth, because I, your Word, am the truth.
Or, we could say this: Sanctify them, by sending the Holy Spirit. And do this in the truth, that is, in the knowledge of the truths of the faith and of your commandments: "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (8:32). For we are sanctified by faith and the knowledge of the truth: "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe" (Rom 3:22). He adds, your word is truth, because the truth of God's words is unmixed with falsity: "All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them" (Prv 8:8). Further, his word teaches the uncreated truth.
Another interpretation: In the Old Testament everything set aside for divine worship was said to be sanctified: "Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel to serve me as priests" (Ex 28:1). Accordingly he says, sanctify them, that is, set them aside, in truth, that is, to preach your truth, because your word, which they are to preach, is truth.
2230 The need for their sanctification is added when he says, as you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. He is saying in effect: I have come to preach the truth: "For this I was born ... to bear witness to the truth" (18:37). And so I have sent my disciples to preach the truth: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15). Accordingly, they have to be sanctified in the truth: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (20:21).
2231 They need to be sanctified not only because of the task they have been given, but also because their sanctification has already been begun by me. Thus he says, and for their sake I sanctify myself. According to Augustine, we should note that there are two natures in Christ. Christ is holy by essence, considering his divine nature; while he is holy by grace, which is derived from the divine nature, considering his human nature. Referring to his divine nature he says, I sanctify myself, by taking on flesh for them. I do this in order that the sanctity or holiness of grace, which is found in my humanity, but is also from me as God, might flow from me to them, because "from his fullness we have all received" (1:16). "It is like the precious oil upon the head," and this head is Christ, who is God, "running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron," that is, upon his human nature, and from here, "running down on the collar of his robes," that is, to us. (Ps 133:2).
Or, according to Chrysostom, he is
asking they be sanctified by a spiritual sanctification.
In the Old Testament there were sanctifications of the body: "Cleansing of the
body imposed until the time comes to set things right" [Heb 9:10]. These were
figures of a spiritual sanctification, and these figures involved the offering
of some sacrifice. And so it was appropriate that some sacrifice be offered for
the sanctification of the disciples. This is what he is saying: I sanctify
myself in order that they might be sanctified, that is, I am offering myself as
a sacrifice: "who offered himself without blemish to God" (Heb 9:14); "So Jesus
also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own
blood" (Heb 13:12). He did this in truth, not in a figure, as was done in the
20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who
[will] believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as
you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the
world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory which you have given me I
have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and
you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that
you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who [will] believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
2232 After our Lord prayed for his disciples, he now prays in general for all the faithful. First, we see his prayer; secondly, he states why he should be heard (v 25). In his prayer he asks the Father two things for those who follow him: first, a perfect unity; secondly, the vision of glory, I desire that they also ... may be with me (v 24). He does two things about the first: he asks, as man, for a perfect unity; secondly, he shows that as God he gives them the ability to acquire this unity (v 22). He does two things with the first: he mentions for whom he is asking; secondly, what he is asking for, that they may be one (v 22b).
2233 He is praying for the entire community of the faithful. He says: I have asked that you protect my disciples from evil, and that you sanctify them in the truth; but I do not pray for these only, but also for those who will believe, that is, for those whose faith will be strengthened, through their word, the word of the apostles. It is right for him to ask this, because no one is saved except by the intercession of Christ. So that it was not only the apostles who were saved, but also others, he also had to pray for these others: "He loved your fathers and chose their descendants after them" (Deut 4:37); "Their prosperity will remain with their descendants" (Sir 44:11).
2234 The objection is made that he does not seem to be praying for all his faithful, because he is praying for those who would be converted by the word of the apostles. But the old fathers and John the Baptizer were not converted by their word. We should answer that these persons had already arrived at their destination; and although they were not enjoying the vision of God, since the price had not yet been paid, they went from this world with their merits, so that as soon as the gate was opened they would enter. Thus, they did not need such prayer.
2235 Again, what of others who did not believe through the word of the apostles, but through Christ's, like Paul believed: "I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal 1:12), or like the thief on the cross (Lk 23:43). It does not seem that Christ prayed for them. The answer, according to Augustine, is that those are said to believe through the word of the apostles who not only listened to the apostles, but those also who believed through the word [as coming from others] which the apostles preached, which is the word of faith (Rom 10:8). The word of faith is called the word of the apostles because they were especially commissioned to preach it. The same word was divinely revealed to Paul and the thief on the cross. Or, one could say that those who were converted directly by and through Christ, like Paul and the thief on the cross, and others like these, are included in that part of the prayer in which our Lord prayed for his disciples. And so our Lord said: "whom you gave me" (17:6), or will give me.
2236 What about us, who do not believe through the apostles? We should say that although we do not believe through the apostles, we do believe through their disciples.
2237 He prays for a perfect unity when he says, that they may all be one. First, he mentions the unity he is asking for; secondly, he gives an example of it, and its cause, as you, Father, are in me; thirdly, he gives the fruit of unity, that the world may believe.
2238 He says: I am praying that they may all be one. As the Platonists say, a thing acquires its unity from that from which it acquires its goodness. For that is good for a thing which preserves it; and a thing is preserved only if it remains one. Thus when our Lord prays that his disciples be perfect in goodness, he prays that they be one. Indeed, this was accomplished: "Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul" (Acts 4:32); "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Ps 133:1).
2239 He gives an example of this unity and its cause, saying, even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you. Others are one, but in evil. Our Lord is not asking for this kind of unity, but that which unites in good, that is, in God. And so he says, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that is, let them be united by believing in me and in you: "We, though many, are one body in Christ" (Rom 12:5); "Eager to keep the unity of the Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:3). We are one or united in the Father and the Son, who are one; for if we were seeking different things to believe and desire, our affections would be scattered.
2240 Arius uses this passage to argue that the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son in the same way that we are in God. However, we are not in God by a unity of essence, but by a conformity of will and love. Therefore, he says, like us, the Father is not in the Son by a unity of essence.
We should say to this that there is a twofold unity of the Father and the Son: a unity of essence and of love. In both of these ways the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. The even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, can be understood of the unity of love, according to Augustine, and then the meaning is: even as you, Father, are in me, through love, because love, charity, makes one be with God. It is like saying: as the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father, so the disciples love the Father and the Son. Then the words even as do not imply equality but a remote likeness.
Or, according to Hilary, this statement can refer to a unity of nature; not indeed that the same numerical nature is in us and in the Father and the Son, but in the sense that our unity resembles that of the divine nature, by which the Father and the Son are one. In this case the words even as indicate a certain imitation. That is why we are invited to imitate divine love: "Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, as Christ loved us" (Eph 5:1). And we are also to imitate the divine perfection or goodness: "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48).
2241 He indicates the fruit of this unity when he says, so that the world may believe: for nothing shows the truth of the gospel better than the charity of those who believe: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (13:35). This will be the fruit of unity: because if my disciples are one, the world may believe that the teaching I gave to them is from you, and know that you have sent me. For God is a cause of peace, not of contentions.
2242 There is a problem here. If we will be perfectly one in our homeland, where we will not believe [but see], it seems out of place to say, after mentioning unity, that the world may believe that you have sent me. Our reply is that our Lord is speaking here of the unity which is taking shape and not of perfected unity.
2243 There is another problem. Our Lord is praying that those who believe in him may be one; therefore, even the believing world is one. Therefore, how can he say, after the world has become one, that the world may believe? One can answer by giving the mystical sense. Then our Lord is praying that all believers be one. Yet all would not believe at the same time; some would be the first to believe, and they would convert others. So when he says, that the world may believe, it refers to those who did not believe at first, from the beginning, but when they did believe they did become one. And the same applies to those who would believe after them, and continuing to the end of the world.
Hilary has another interpretation. The words so that the world may believe indicates the purpose of their unity and perfection. It is like saying: you will perfect them so that they may be one, for this purpose, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Here the words so that indicate a final cause.
A third interpretation is by Augustine. For him, that the world may believe, is another petition. In this case the I pray (v 20) has to be repeated, so that the sense is: I pray that they may be one, and I pray that the world may believe.
2244 Christ's part in establishing this unity is mentioned when he says, the glory which you have given me, I have given to them, since what he is asking for as man he is accomplishing as God. First, he shows that he acted to make them one; secondly, he mentions the kind and degree of this unity, I in them and you in me; and thirdly, we see the purpose of this unity, so that the world may know (v 23).
2245 He says: Although, as man, I am asking for their perfection, still I am accomplishing this together with you, because the glory, of my resurrection, which you, Father, have given me, by an eternal predestination, and which you will soon give me in reality, I have given to them, my disciples. This glory is the immortality which the faithful will receive at the resurrection, an immortality even of the body: "Who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:21); "It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory" (1 Cor 15:43). And this is so that they may be one, because by the fact that they have glory they will be made one, even as we are one.
2246 He seems to be distinguishing his own activity from that of the Father, for he says that the Father gave him glory, and Christ gave this to his faithful. If this is understood correctly, we see that he is not saying these things to distinguish their activities, but their persons. For the Son, as Son, together with the Father, gives glory to Christ in his human nature, and together with the Father Christ gives it to the faithful. But because Christ gave glory to his faithful especially through his own human nature, he attributes this giving to himself, while he attributes to the Father the giving of glory to his own human nature. This is the opinion of Augustine.
Or, according to Chrysostom, the glory, that is, the glory of grace, which you have given me, in my human nature, giving me a superior knowledge, perfection, and power to accomplish miracles, I have given to them, in a limited way, and will give it later more fully: "We are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor 3:18); "You have given gifts to men" [Ps 68:18]. And this is in order that they may be one even as we are one, for the purpose of God's gifts is to unite us in a unity which is like the unity of the Father and the Son.
2247 The manner of this unity is added when he says, I in them and you in me. They arrive at unity, because they see that I am in them, as in a temple: "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Cor 3:16), by grace, which is a certain likeness of the Father's essence, by which you, Father, are in me by a unity of nature: "I am in the Father and the Father in me" (14:10). And this is in order that they may become perfectly one.
Above, he had said, "that they may be one" (v 22), while here he says, perfectly one. The reason for this is that the first time he was referring to the unity brought about by grace, but here to its consummation. Hilary gives another interpretation: I in them, that is, I am in them by the unity of human nature, which I have in common with them, and also because I give them my body as food; and you in me, by a unity of essence.
2248 Referring to the first explanation [the unity from grace], since the Father also, as well as the Son, is in them by grace - "We will come to him and make our home with him" (14:23) ‑ why does he say, I in them, without mentioning the Father? According to Augustine, he does this because they have access to the Father through the Son: "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access" (Rom 5:1); and it does not mean that the Son is in them without the Father. Or, according to Chrysostom, above Christ said, "We will come to him" (14:23), to indicate that there is a plurality of divine persons, contrary to Sabellius; but here he says, I in them, to indicate the equality of the Father and the Son, contrary to Arius. We can understand from this that it is enough for the faithful if the Son alone dwells in them.
2249 The purpose of this unity is given when he says, so that the world may know that you have sent me. If the "perfectly one" (v 23) refers to the perfection of this life, then that the world may know is the same as what he said before, "that the world may believe" (v 21). This would indicate just a beginning state. But here he is saying, know, because complete knowledge, not faith, comes after imperfect knowledge.
He says, that the world may know, not the world as it is now, but as it was [will be?], so that the meaning is: so that the world, now a believing world, may know. Or, so that the world, that is, the lovers of the world, may know that you have sent me: for by that time those who are evil will know by clear signs that Christ is the Son of God: "Every eye will see him" (Rev 1:7); "They shall look on him whom they have pierced" (19:37); "They will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Lk 21:27).
2250 The world will not only know this, it will also know the glory of the saints, that you have loved them, that is, the faithful. At the present time we cannot know how great God's love for us is: this is because the good things that God will give us exceed our longings and desires, and so cannot be found in our heart: "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2:9).
Thus the believing world, that is, the saints, will now know by experience how much God loves us; but the lovers of the world, that is, the wicked, will know this by seeing in amazement the glory of the saints: "This is the man whom we once held in derision ... Why has he been numbered among the sons of God? And why is his lot among the saints?" (Wis 5:4); and it continues, "Why has he been numbered among the sons of God? And why is his lot among the saints?" (v 4).
2251 He continues, as you have loved me. This does not imply an equality of love, but a similarity and a reason. It is like saying: the love you have for me is the reason and cause why you love them: for by the fact that you love me, you love those who love me and are my members: "The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me" (16:27).
God loves all the things he has
made, by giving them existence: "For you love all things that exist, and have
loathing for none of the things you have made" (Wis 11:24). But above all he
loves his only Son, to whom he has given his entire nature by an eternal
generation. In a lesser way he loves the members of his only Son, that is, the
faithful of Christ, by giving them the grace by which Christ dwells in them:
"He loved his people; all those consecrated to him were in his hand" (Deut
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given
me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in
your love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the
world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have
sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the
love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
2252 Above, our Lord prayed for the perfect unity of his disciples; here he is asking the vision of glory for them. First, he mentions the persons for whom he is praying; secondly, he shows the way he is praying; thirdly, he states what he is asking for.
2253 He is praying for those given to him; he says, whom you have given me. That is given to a person which is subject to his will, so he can do with it as he wills. We can distinguish two wills in Christ: a will to mercy and a will to justice. His will to mercy is fundamental and absolute, because "His compassion is over all that he has made" (Ps 145:9); "who desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4). But his will for a punishing justice is not fundamental, as it presupposes sin: "God does not delight in the destruction of men" [Wis 1:13]; and in Ezekiel [18:32] we read: "I do not desire the death of the sinner," absolutely; but he wills it as a consequence of sin.
All men have been given to the Son: "You have given him power over all flesh" (17:2), that is, over all men, to accomplish his will in their regard: his will for mercy, leading to salvation, or his will for justice, leading to punishment: "He is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead" (Acts 10:42). But those were given to him absolutely who were given to him so that he might accomplish his will of mercy for their salvation; he says of these people, whom you have given to me, that is, in your predestination from all eternity: "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me..." (Is 8:18).
2254 The way he asks is given when he says, I desire. This can indicate authority or merit. It indicates authority if we refer this to Christ's divine will, which is the same as the will of the Father: for by his will he justifies and saves men: "He has mercy upon whomever he wills" (Rom 9:18). If we refer this to Christ's human will, it indicates merit, for Christ's human will merits our salvation. For if the wills of the just, who are the members of Christ, have merit entitling them to be heard ‑ "Ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you" (15:7) ‑ much more so does the human will of Christ, who is the head of all the saints.
2255 He mentions what he is asking for when he says, that they also ... may be with me. First, he asks that the members be united to the head; secondly, that his glory be shown to his members, to behold my glory.
2256 He says, I desire that they also ... may be with me where I am. This can be understood in two ways. In the first way it can be understood of Christ in his human nature. Christ, in his human nature, is soon to ascend and to be in heaven: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father" (20:17). Then the meaning is: I desire that they also, the faithful, may be with me, in heaven, where I am about to ascend: "Wherever the body is, there the eagles," that is, the saints, "will be gathered together" (Mt 24:28). For this is what Christ promised: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Mt 5:12).
2257 There is a difficulty with this meaning. Since Christ was not yet in heaven, he should have said, "where I will be," and not "where I am." And besides, he also said, "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven" (3:13).
I reply to the first that Christ, who was speaking, was both God and man. And although he was not yet in heaven in his human nature, he was there in his divine nature. And so, while present on earth, he was in heaven; and thus he says, where I am.
As to the second objection, when we read that "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven" (3:13), we should understand that the Son is in heaven by reason of his divinity, and descended by taking on a human nature, and then ascended by reason of his human nature, now glorified. But now we have been made one with him. Thus, he alone comes, in himself, by descending from heaven, and he alone returns there, now one with us, by ascending into heaven. This is the observation of Gregory, (Morals, 28).
He says, where I am, using the present tense instead of the future, either because he would very soon be there, or because he was referring to Christ as God.
2258 But since God is everywhere ‑ "Do I not fill heaven and earth" (Jer 23:24) ‑ it seems to follow that the saints also will be everywhere. We should reply to this that God is related to us like light is. When the sun is over the earth, the light spreads everywhere. And although the light is with all, yet all are not in the light, but only those who see it. So, since God is everywhere, he is with all, wherever they are; yet not all are with God, but only those joined to him by faith and love; and they will be finally joined in complete joy: "I am continually with you" (Ps 73:23); "We shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thess 4:17).
Thus the meaning is this: where I am, that is, in your divinity, Father, which I have by nature, they may be with me, by participating in grace: "He gave power to become children of God" (1:12); "He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 Jn 4:16).
2259 He speaks of manifesting his glory to his members when he says, to behold my glory. First, he makes his request; secondly, he mentions the source of this glory, which you have given me; thirdly, he gives the reason for this glory, in your love for me.
2260 He says that he not only wants them to be with him, but he also wants them to behold my glory, in a beatifying vision: "When he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 Jn 3:2). This can be understood to refer to the glory of his human nature after the resurrection ‑ "He will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:21) ‑ or to the glory of his divine nature, for he is the radiance of the Father's glory and the image of his substance, as we see from Hebrews (1:3); "The radiance of eternal light" [Wis 7:26]. The saints in glory will see both of these glories. We read about the first [the glory of Christ's human nature]: "Your eyes will see the king in his beauty" (Is 33:17). The wicked will see this glory only at the judgment: "And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and majesty" [Lk 21:27]; and Mark adds "and glory" (Mk 13:26). But the sight of this glory will be taken away from them after the judgment: "Let the wicked be taken away so they cannot see the glory of the Lord" [Is 26:10], as we read in one version. Yet the saints will see the second glory [that of the divine nature] forever: "In your light," that is, of grace, "do we see light," that is, of glory, which the wicked will never see.
2261 The source of this glory is the Father: so he says, which you have given me. He gave him the glory of his body at the resurrection. Although this still remained to be done, it had already been done in the divine decree; and this is why he says, have given: "You have crowned him with glory" [Ps 8:5]. But he gave him divine glory from all eternity, because the Son is from the Father from all eternity, like radiance from light.
2262 He gives the explanation for the glory given to him when he says, in your love for me before the foundation of the world. If we refer this to Christ in his human nature, then the in indicates the cause. For just as love and predestination are the cause why we have the radiance of grace in the present life and of glory in the future ‑ "He chose us in him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4) ‑ so also it is the cause of the radiance which Christ has in his human nature, "predestined the Son of God in power" [Rom 1:4]. So the meaning is this: I say that you have given me this radiance: and the cause of this is that you have loved me, in your love for me before the foundation of the world. The result being that this man is united to the Son of God to form one person: "Blessed is he whom you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts" (Ps 65:4).
If we refer this to Christ as God, then the in indicates a sign. For then the Father did not give because he loved: for when we say the Father gave to the Son we are referring to the eternal generation of the Son. If love is taken essentially, it indicates the divine will; if it is taken notionally, it indicates the Holy Spirit. Now it was by nature that the Father gave radiance to the Son, not by his will, because the Father begot the Son by nature. And so he also did not give to the Son because he brought forth the Holy Spirit.
2263 Now he gives the reason why his prayer should be heard. Before, our Lord had included the faithful in his petition when he said, "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word" (17:20). He also excluded the world and unbelievers when he said, "I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world" (17:9). Now he gives the reason for this: first, he mentions the failure of the world; secondly, the progress of the disciples (v 25).
2264 Note that when he prayed for their sanctification he called the Father holy Father (v 11). But now, calling for retribution, he refers to the Father as righteous Father. This eliminates the old error which said that there was a just God, the God of the Old Testament, and another God who was good, the God of the New Testament.
The failure of the world concerned its knowledge of God. He says, the world, not as reconciled, but damned, has not known you: "The world was made through him, yet the world knew him not" (1:10).
2265 But this seems to conflict with Romans (1:19) "For what can be known about God is plain to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." We should say to this that knowledge is of two kinds: one is speculative, and the other affective. Through neither of these ways did the world know God completely. Although some Gentiles knew God as having some of those attributes which are knowable by reason, they did not know God as the Father of an only begotten and consubstantial Son ‑ and our Lord is talking about knowledge of these things.
Again, if they did have some speculative knowledge of God, this was mixed with many errors: some denied his providence over all things; others said he was the soul of the world; still others worshipped other gods along with him. For this reason they are said not to know God. Composite things can be known in part, and unknown in part, while simple things are unknown if they are not known in their entirety. Thus, even though some erred only slightly in their knowledge of God, they are said to be entirely ignorant of him. Consequently, since these people did not know the special excellence of God, they are said not to know him: "For although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened" (Rom 1:21); "Nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works" (Wis 13:1).
Furthermore, the world did not know God by an affective knowledge, because it did not love him, "like heathen who do not know God" (1 Thess 4:5). So he says, the world has not known you, that is, without error, and as a Father, through love.
2266 Then the progress of the disciples is mentioned (v 25b). First, their progress in knowledge; secondly, the fruit of this knowledge (v 26). As regards the disciples' progress in knowledge he does three things: first, he gives the root and fountain of this knowledge of God; secondly, the rivulets and streams that flow from it; thirdly, we see their origin in the root or fountain.
2267 The root and fountain of our knowledge of God is the Word of God, that is, Christ: "The fountain of wisdom is the word of God" [Sir 1:5]. Human wisdom consists in knowing God. But this knowledge flows to us from the Word, because to the extent that we share in the Word of God, to that extent do we know God. Thus he says, the world has not known you in this way, but I, the fountain of wisdom, your Word, have known you, eternally and fully: "If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you" (8:55).
2268 From this knowledge of the Word, which is the root and fountain, flows, like rivulets and streams, all the knowledge of the faithful. Accordingly he says, and these know that [quia, meaning "that," or "because"] you have sent me. Augustine understands the word as meaning "because," and it then indicates the reason for their knowledge. The meaning is then: I have known you, by nature, and these know you by grace. Why? Because you have sent me, so that they may know you: "For this was I born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth" (18:37); "I have manifested your name" (17:6).
If we understand the word as meaning "that," it then refers to what is known. The meaning is: and these know. What do they know? That you have sent me, because he who sees the Son also sees the Father (14:9).
2269 They did not know this by themselves; they learned it from me because "No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Mt 11:27). So he says, I made known to them your name, and I will make it known. He is indicating the two types of knowledge which the faithful have through him. First, there is the knowledge of his teaching, and he refers to this by saying, I made known to them your name, teaching them by my external words: "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known" (1:18); "It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him" (Heb 2:3).
The other knowledge is from within, through the Holy Spirit. Referring to this he says, and I will make it known by giving them the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth" [16:13].
Or, alternatively, I made known to them your name by the knowledge of faith, "for now we see in a mirror dimly," and I will make it known through the vision of glory in their homeland, where they will see "face to face" (1 Cor 13:12).
2270 The fruit of this knowledge is that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. This can be explained in two ways. The first and better way is that since the Father loves the Son, as is shown by the glory he gave him, consequently, he loves all those in whom the Son is present ‑ and the Son is in them insofar as they have knowledge of the truth. So the meaning is this: I will make your name known to them; and by the fact that they know you, I, your Word, will be in them; and by the fact that I am in them, the love with which you love me may be in them, that is, will be given to them, and you will love them as you have loved me.
Here is the other explanation: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, that is, as you have loved me, so they, by sharing in the Holy Spirit, may love. And by that fact I will be in them as God in a temple, and they in me, as members of the head: "He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 Jn 4:16).
 St. Thomas refers to Jn 17:1 in the Summa Theologiae: III, q. 21, a. 3, s. c.; q. 83, a. 4, ad 2; Jn 17:3: ST I, q. 18, a. 2, obj. 3; q. 31, a. 4, obj 1; I-II, q. 3, a. 2, ad 1; q. 3, a. 4, s. c.; q. 114, a. 4, s. c.; II-II, q. 1, a. 8; q. 24, a. 12, s. c.; III, q. 9, a. 2, obj. 2; q. 59, a. 5, ad 1; Jn 16:5: ST I, q. 46, a. 1, s. c. ; Jn 17:5: ST III, q. 83, a. 4, ad 7.
 De Trin., 9, ch. 31; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 De Trin., 5, ch. 3; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 De Trin., 3, ch. 14; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 Augustine, De Trin., 6, ch. 9; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 Augustine, De Trin., 105, ch. 5; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 Summa-Christ's human nature is glorified, but remains human.
 Hilary, De Trin., 3; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 St. Thomas refers to Jn 17:6 in the Summa Theologiae: II-II, q. 2, a. 8, obj. 2; Jn 17:10: ST III, q. 48, a. 1, s. c.
 Tract. in Io., 106, ch. 1, col. 1908; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:6-8.
 In Ioannem hom., 81, ch. 1; PG 59, col. 437; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:6-8.
 Tract. in Io., 106, ch. 6, col. 1911; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:6-8.
 In Ioannem hom., 80, ch. 2; PG 59, col. 435; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:1-5.
 Tract. in Io., 106, ch. 6, col. 1911; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:6-8.
 In Ioannem hom., 81, ch. 2; PG 59, col. 440; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:9-13.
 Tract. in Io., 107, ch. 8, col. 1914-5; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:9-13.
 Tract. in Io., 108, ch. 5, col. 1916; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:14-19.
 In Ioannem hom., 82, ch. 1; PG 59, col. 443; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:14-19.
 St. Thomas refers to Jn 17:22 in the Summa Theologiae: II-II, q. 183, q. 2, obj. 1; III, q. 23, a. 3.
 Tract. in Io., 109, ch. 2, col. 1918; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
Tract. in Io., 110, ch. 1, col. 1920; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 De Trin., 7; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 De Trin., 8; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 Tract. in Io., 110, ch.2, col. 1920-1; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 Ibid.; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 In Ioannem hom., 82, ch. 2; PG 59, col. 444; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 De Trin., 8; PL 10; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:20-23.
 Summa-mercy is fundamental to God-justice exists in relation to sin.
 Gregory, Moralia, 28; PL 76; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:24-26.
 summa --speculative and affective knowledge.
 Tract. in Io., 111, ch. 5, col 1929; cf. Catena Aurea, 17:24-26.