The Holy Gospel extract is part of the Hierarchal Prayer of Jesus Christ, following the Last Supper. Our Lord is praying to His eternal Father as a man. Prayer unites us with each other and with God. It elevates us, because as we all pray to the same God, the God of our Fathers, we are close to Him. As we are close to Him, we become close to each other. Unity is the most important thing for mankind. That is why He and everything tend towards unity. In the Hierarchal prayer that we read, Christ thanks His Father for glorifying Him, in other words for Christ’s sacrifice. The glory of Jesus Christ is His sacrifice for us. This is something very moving for us. He deigned to die for us and rose for us. He did and does everything for us. That is love. Love till death and the Cross and love till the Resurrection and beyond.
It is good for us to pray. Prayer lifts us to the Heavenly Father and becomes the center of the soul. It unites us with Him and brings us great joy, because we find ourselves in safe waters, in places we recognize, close to God. Besides which, man’s problems are his God’s problems. If he is right with God and united with God, the Orthodox Christian will find himself in Paradise, he celebrates and can face all the other problems in his life and becomes a victor over them. So, Christ thanked His Father for His sacrifice, His Cross and His Resurrection.
In the rest of the prayer, He asks His Father to protect the Apostles and all Christians throughout all ages till the end of the world. With the sacrifice He made Christ protected us and still protects us. He saved us and still saves us. And He says to His Father: “I pray that they are united with me and with You and that all things and all people will become one”. This is Christ’s wish, that we all are united with Him so that he may unite us with His Father, with heaven, that we might enter Paradise.
He also asks His father to bring us joy, to fill our souls with gladness, because Orthodoxy is a faith of joy, the joy of the Resurrection, the joy of Christ. This joy is so great that it spreads everywhere. In the Orthodox Church, good is abundant, it comes from everywhere and is spread everywhere. This is the miracle. We can take from this joy of the Church, the joy of Christ every day and every moment through prayer, at all times and everywhere. We can lift our hands and our souls and pray to the Triune God, to the All Holy Virgin, our saints and in this way feel the divine unity, the beautiful harmony, the grandeur which only Christ gives to all Orthodox Christian souls.
Let this joy come and dwell in our souls and in the souls of those still in darkness and come to illumine us all, that Christ may realize what He wants for us. Let us all become one with Christ, the immortal King, together with the Holy Trinity.