Gifts for Jesus

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“Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me.

I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:24-26)

Father, they are your gift to me. (Jn 17:24)

It was the night of the Last Supper. Jesus had just finished talking to his apostles about the vine and the branches and the Spirit of truth that will guide them. And he had called them his friends.

“Love one another,” Jesus told the disciples, “as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

Then Jesus began to pray. And towards the end of the prayer he said,

Father, they are your gift to me.

I know I had read these scripture verses before, but one day these words popped off the page and grabbed my heart. They grabbed my heart and did not let go.

They are your gift to me.

Jesus said his apostles were a gift to him! Isn’t it the other way around? Is not Jesus a gift to them?

Then I realized, Jesus was saying these words about us, too. I was just blown away.

I am a gift to Jesus? Really?

What a beautiful way to tell us he loves us.

For years I have tried to find some reflection or commentary on this verse. I wanted to know if I was the only one who saw the gem here. But I never found any kind of reference to this phrase or what it might mean… until just the other day.

I was reading a book called In the Midst of Noise, An Ignatian Retreat in Everyday Life, written by Michael Campbell Johnston, SJ. It has 30 days of reflections that helps the reader make a mini retreat at home.

In the chapter entitled God is Love, Father Johnston quoted this same scripture. In fact he quotes the rest of the prayer that ends with this verse –

I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:26)

Fr. Johnston goes on to say that because Jesus said, “I will make it known,” Jesus is addressing it to his disciples AND all of us. You and me.

I was grateful to finally know that I was not the only one who saw this. I was grateful to know that someone read the same meaning in those words that grabbed my heart and would not let go.

I hope they never do.

Father, they are your gift to me.

Thank you, Jesus.

Copyright 2011 Colleen Spiro

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About Author

Colleen Spiro is a Catholic mother, grandmother and a deacon’s wife. A certified spiritual director, Colleen loves to share her faith and encourage others through her retreats and writings. You can read her reflections at her website, Catholic Prayer Life and read or listen to her podcast at Finding God in the Everyday.

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