And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
There’s a poignant moment in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye, the loveable protagonist, stands in a train station where his beloved daughter Hodel and her fiancé are about to depart for a new life together, far away from her beloved hometown. “God only knows when we will see each other again, Papa,” Hodel says to Tevye in a tearful embrace. “Then,” Tevye replies, “we will leave it in God’s hands.”
In today’s readings, both St. Paul and Jesus bid fond farewell to those they love: St. Paul to the Ephesians, and Jesus to his dear apostles. And in the end, both entrust their dear ones to God’s care.
Leaving ones we love and care for is never easy. It wasn’t for Tevye, and it certainly wasn’t for St. Paul or for Jesus. But it’s good to know that we do no better than when we ultimately entrust those we love to the tender care of God.
—Fr. Raymond Guiao, S.J. serves as President of St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland OH.
Father, I place my life and those I love in your hands.
—Lectionary for Mass