Some of us have experienced this and some of us are going to experience this soon. The experience is that of sending your child off to study in a foreign country. Months before he or she is about to leave, you prepare their material needs and as the time gets closer for your child to leave, you think about what to say to help your child focus on what is important. You would definitely hope your child will not only keep the faith, but the practices of the faith. Some of you may struggle to say the right words because the faith is important to you.

In today’s gospel, Jesus knows that he will be leaving his disciples, his children, soon. Here he prays for them. What Jesus hopes for most of all, is that his disciples keep the faith and be faithful to his words, even as they have to live in a world filled with many distractions and temptations.

When the children are in school, they want to be independent and to start work in order to be financially independent. As time goes by, this financial independence draws them to material comfort. This is wonderful indeed and soon the comforts become more and more important. The present satisfactions that these material comforts bring outweigh the future dwelling in God our Father’s kingdom. There is still time before the world ends. Slowly but surely, the ways of the world become more important.

Being in the world and not of the world means we are certain that this world, with its pleasures, will pass away. Being in the world and not of the world means that we are rooted in what Jesus wants for us and that is to be filled with joy. Being in the world and not of the world means that we know who we are.

Our existence has meaning and the meaning is derived from being with Jesus. Jesus’ prayer is similar to the prayer of a concerned parent whose child will not be with them for a while, because the child can do anything on their own. The child can do the things that he or she has been taught or be influenced by others to do things that the parents will not do. A child discovers for himself or herself what the world is about. Will that child discover the world with or without Jesus?

Questions for Reflection

Jesus is concerned about you being in this world. How do you feel about that?

Do you know the ways of the Lord?

How aware are you of the ways of this world that can lead you away from Jesus?