Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  626 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 626 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

626

Part Four

The priestly prayer of Jesus holds a unique place in the economy

of salvation.

52

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.

2605

When the hour had come for him to fulfill the Father’s plan

of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of the boundless depth of his filial

prayer, not only before he freely delivered himself up (“

Abba 

. . . not

my will, but yours.”),

53

but even in

his last words

on the Cross, where

prayer and the gift of self are but one: “Father, forgive them, for they

know not what they do”;

54

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be

with me in Paradise”;

55

“Woman, behold your son”—“Behold your

mother”;

56

“I thirst”;

57

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken

me?”;

58

“It is finished”;

59

“Father, into your hands I commit my

spirit!”

60

until the “loud cry” as he expires, giving up his spirit.

61

2606

All the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin

and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history

are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word. Here the Father

accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising his

Son. Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of

prayer in the economy of creation and salvation. The Psalter gives

us the key to prayer in Christ. In the “today” of the Resurrection

the Father says: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask

of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of

the earth your possession.”

62

The Letter to the Hebrews

expresses in dramatic terms how the

prayer of Jesus accomplished the victory of salvation: “In the

days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications,

with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him

from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although

he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suf­

fered, and being made perfect, he became the source of

eternal salvation to all who obey him.”

63

52 Cf.

Jn

17.

53

Lk

22:42.

54

Lk

23:34.

55

Lk

23:43.

56

Jn

19:26-27.

57

Jn

19:28.

58

Mk

15:34; cf.

Ps

22:2.

59

Jn

19:30.

60

Lk

23:46.

61 Cf.

Mk

15:37;

Jn

19:30b.

62

Ps

2:7-8; cf.

Acts

13:33.

63

Heb

5:7-9.

2746

614

403

653

2587