Keep them in your name

Daily Reading for May 24 • The Seventh Sunday of Easter

John, who especially brings out the working of spiritual causes in the Gospel, preserves this prayer of the Lord for the apostles that all the others passed over. Notice how he prayed, namely, “Holy Father, keep them in your name. . . . While I was with them, I kept them in your name: those whom you gave me I have kept.” That prayer was not for himself but for his apostles. He was not in sorrow for himself since he asks them to pray that they won’t be tempted. . . . And when he prays, he prays for those whom he preserved, so long as he was with them, whom he now hands over to the Father to preserve. Now that he is about to accomplish the mystery of death, he begs the Father to guard them. . . . He himself fulfills the petition of his prayer, and they are all safe. But he asks that those whom he has preserved the Father will now preserve in his own name. And they are preserved.

From On the Trinity by Hilary of Poitiers, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVb, John 11-21, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007).

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