Maybe it’s the heroic witness of those 22 Ugandans or maybe it’s Paul talking about his mission and the people he has served with care, but, when I read the gospel and hear Jesus talking to his Father about glory and trust and sacrifice and gift, I can’t help but hear him sound so proud of his disciples. He sounds brimful of pride in them. I can almost hear the tears in Jesus eyes.
Father, they have kept your word; they have believed in me; they have believed you sent me. Father, I pray for them, the ones you have given me, because they belong to you. I pray for them. All I have is yours and all you have is mine and in them I am glorified.
These are the ones he loves, the ones given to him, the ones he is so proud of. The ones who will shortly run away, betray him, and scatter. These are the ones he is proud of. Their failure and abandonment do not diminish his pride. He knows it, he loves them, and he is still proud of them.
He is proud of me too and proud of you. Feel that for a moment… Jesus is proud of you… He knows you, he loves you and he is proud of you. And lest you list your betrayals and itemise your failings: remember he knows them too, he knows you, he loves you, he is proud of you.