As we listen to Jesus making His last will and testament, it is clear that He does not see His upcoming death as a disaster. Notice how His words, far from being fearful or desperate, deepen His relationship with His 'Abba'. His prayer, includes all those who share His light. To them He bequeaths eternal bliss.
Don't be misled by the phrase, 'He looked up to Heaven'. Heaven is neither up nor down, what matters is that He opens Himself to the Sacred Presence who is present everywhere. For Jesus, praying is a relational response, not an attempt to make contact. Jesus reveals Gods' name and through this revelation allows Divine Life to flow into the world. All who are already responding to God, hear Jesus and gravitate towards Him. As they listen also to Him, He energises them to share His teaching with others. Now their Mission is clear. A new community is coming to birth. His disciples will witness to this most clearly when they are One, as the Father and the Son are One.
I wonder if it is important that we think about our own ending in the world. None of us are here for a long time and embracing this truth can be very liberating. The problem seems to be that in most instances, death chooses us. Even if we have all our 'affairs' in order, death interrupts us. Think of all the things that tie us to this life! Will we ever be ready to let go? But it does not matter. Even if we tell ourselves that the world couldn't possibly go on without us in it, or that it will be too difficult and we won't be able to do it, it happens anyway. Walking around Easthampstead Cemetery provides a great lesson on how easy it is to die. Will we be able to say that we accomplished what we were sent to do?
It might help us to remember that from every social point of view Jesus was a failure. The so called religious authorities did not accept Him, or His message. He was betrayed, denied and abandoned by those who should have known better. He was executed with terrorists and mocked by soldiers, priests and his own community. If we look at His death in this way, how can He claim that He accomplished anything?
Perhaps, from a social point of view, everyone's death is a failure. Even if we are propped up, pain free, surrounded by our trophies, applauded for our successes, with loved ones around us and leaving an abundant inheritance, we still die incomplete. Why? because who we really are cannot be found here. On a social level, there is no good, never mind a perfect death.
However, if we look through the Sacred Lens and do some radical reworking of how we see life and what counts as success, we might see more clearly. From Jesus we hear that the whole point of you and me is to release Sacred Love into the world. Every person is a beloved child of God. We cannot believe that God is our Father and not believe we are all sisters and brothers. When we activate and begin to frame ourselves in this spiritual identity, the hour of death starts to look very different.
This prayer of Jesus is astonishing because it evaluates life from a consistent Godly perspective. He steadfastly upholds the infinite preciousness of every person. He speaks of a spiritual reality that lies hidden within us but which is harder to see when we are busy playing the game of life. We are not on a mission, we are a mission of Love, meant to stir love in others. When this happens, God is glorified, our work is accomplished, our life complete. Could this possibly be true?