CCC 217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself – the teaching that comes from God is “true instruction”.1 When he sends his Son into the world it will be “to bear witness to the truth”:2 “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true.”3
CCC 589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God’s own attitude toward them.4 He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet.5 But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”6 By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God’s equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God’s name.7
CCC 730 At last Jesus’ hour arrives:8 he commends his spirit into the Father’s hands9 at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,”10 he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by “breathing” on his disciples.11 From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”12
CCC 767 “When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church.”13 Then “the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun.”14 As the “convocation” of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.15
CCC 1069 The word “liturgy” originally meant a “public work” or a “service in the name of/on behalf of the people.” In Christian tradition it means the participation of the People of God in “the work of God.”16 Through the liturgy Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church.
CCC 1085 In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father “once for all.”17 His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life.
CCC 1721 God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us “partakers of the divine nature” and of eternal life.18 With beatitude, man enters into the glory of Christ19 and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.
CCC 1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.20
CCC 2604 The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is recorded by St. John.21 Thanksgiving precedes the event: “Father, I thank you for having heard me,” which implies that the Father always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: “I know that you always hear me,” which implies that Jesus, on his part, constantly made such petitions. Jesus’ prayer, characterized by thanksgiving, reveals to us how to ask: before the gift is given, Jesus commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver is more precious than the gift; he is the “treasure”; in him abides his Son’s heart; the gift is given “as well.”22
The priestly prayer of Jesus holds a unique place in the economy of salvation.23 A meditation on it will conclude Section One. It reveals the ever present prayer of our High Priest and, at the same time, contains what he teaches us about our prayer to our Father, which will be developed in Section Two.
CCC 2746 When “his hour” came, Jesus prayed to the Father.24 His prayer, the longest transmitted by the Gospel, embraces the whole economy of creation and salvation, as well as his death and Resurrection. The prayer of the Hour of Jesus always remains his own, just as his Passover “once for all” remains ever present in the liturgy of his Church.
CCC 2747 Christian Tradition rightly calls this prayer the “priestly” prayer of Jesus. It is the prayer of our high priest, inseparable from his sacrifice, from his passing over (Passover) to the Father to whom he is wholly “consecrated.”25
CCC 2749 Jesus fulfilled the work of the Father completely; his prayer, like his sacrifice, extends until the end of time. The prayer of this hour fills the end-times and carries them toward their consummation. Jesus, the Son to whom the Father has given all things, has given himself wholly back to the Father, yet expresses himself with a sovereign freedom26 by virtue of the power the Father has given him over all flesh. The Son, who made himself Servant, is Lord, the Pantocrator. Our high priest who prays for us is also the one who prays in us and the God who hears our prayer.
CCC 2750 By entering into the holy name of the Lord Jesus we can accept, from within, the prayer he teaches us: “Our Father!” His priestly prayer fulfills, from within, the great petitions of the Lord’s Prayer: concern for the Father’s name;27 passionate zeal for his kingdom (glory);28 the accomplishment of the will of the Father, of his plan of salvation;29 and deliverance from evil.30
CCC 2751 Finally, in this prayer Jesus reveals and gives to us the “knowledge,” inseparably one, of the Father and of the Son,31 which is the very mystery of the life of prayer.
CCC 2765 The traditional expression “the Lord’s Prayer” – oratio Dominica – means that the prayer to our Father is taught and given to us by the Lord Jesus. The prayer that comes to us from Jesus is truly unique: it is “of the Lord.” On the one hand, in the words of this prayer the only Son gives us the words the Father gave him:32 he is the master of our prayer. On the other, as Word incarnate, he knows in his human heart the needs of his human brothers and sisters and reveals them to us: he is the model of our prayer.
CCC 2812 Finally, in Jesus the name of the Holy God is revealed and given to us, in the flesh, as Savior, revealed by what he is, by his word, and by his sacrifice.33 This is the heart of his priestly prayer: “Holy Father. .. for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.”34 Because he “sanctifies” his own name, Jesus reveals to us the name of the Father.35 At the end of Christ’s Passover, the Father gives him the name that is above all names: “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”36
CCC 2815 This petition embodies all the others. Like the six petitions that follow, it is fulfilled by the prayer of Christ. Prayer to our Father is our prayer, if it is prayed in the name of Jesus.37 In his priestly prayer, Jesus asks: “Holy Father, protect in your name those whom you have given me.”38
CCC 2849 Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony.39 In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: “Keep them in your name.”40 The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.41 Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. “Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake.”42
1 Mal 2:6.
2 Jn 18:37.
3 I Jn 5:20; cf. Jn 17:3.
4 Cf. Mt 9:13; Hos 6:6.
5 Cf. Lk 15:1-2, 22-32.
6 Mk 2:7.
7 Cf. Jn 5:18; 10:33; 17:6,26.
8 Cf. Jn 13:1; 17:1.
9 Cf. Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30.
10 Rom 6:4.
11 Cf. Jn 20:22.
12 Jn 20:21; cf. Mt 28:19; Lk 24:47-48; Acts 1:8.
13 LG 4; cf. Jn 17:4.
14 AG 4.
15 Cf. Mt 28:19-20; AG 2; 5-6.
16 Cf. Jn 17:4.
17 Rom 6:10; Heb 7:27; 9:12; cf. Jn 13:1; 17:1.
18 2 Pet 1:4; cf. Jn 17:3.
19 Cf. Rom 8:18.
20 Cf. Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4.
21 Cf. Jn 11:41-42.
22 Mt 6:21, 33.
23 Cf. Jn 17.
24 Cf. Jn 17.
25 Cf. Jn 17:11, 13, 19.
26 Cf. Jn 17:11, 13, 19, 24.
27 Cf. Jn 17:6, 11, 12, 26.
28 Cf. Jn 17:1, 5, 10, 22, 23-26.
29 Cf. Jn 17:2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24.
30 Cf. Jn 17:15.
31 Cf. Jn 17:3, 6-10, 25.
32 Cf. Jn 17:7.
33 Cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31, Jn 8:28; 17:8; 17:17-19.
34 Jn 17:11, 19.
35 Cf. Ezek 20:39; 36:20-21; Jn 17:6.
36 Phil 2:9-11.
37 Cf. Jn 14:13; 15:16; 16:24, 26.
38 Jn 17:11.
39 Cf. Mt 4:1-11; 26:36-44.
40 Jn 17:11; Cf. Mk 13:9, 23, 33-37; 14:38; Lk 12:35-40.
41 Cf. 1 Cor 16:13; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Pet 5:8.
42 Rev 16:15.