Like a mother hen
From the very first day a child comes home from the hospital to the first day of school, first date, and first time driving alone, we pray for protection. That same yearning to protect your child from harm does not end with their passage into adulthood, it continues into college, employment, marriage, divorce, births, layoffs, life, and death.
We don’t often envision Jesus in the role of parent, but he has a mothering instinct! In fact, Jesus refers to himself in the gospels of Matthew and Luke (Matt. 23:37 and Luke 13:34) like a mother hen longing to gather her chicks under her wings. A mother hen knows when her chicks are in danger and does everything in her power to protect them.
Jesus prays, Holy Father, protect them (his disciples) in your name that you have given me. “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.”
Who are “all those who believe in me through the disciples’ word”? Jesus is talking about us… On the night before his death, Jesus prays for us. And, he still does…