Monday, January 16, 2017
Today we are looking at Jesus’ prayer for unity, just before he died, where amongst other things, he said, “I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you.” The first thing to note is that our invitation to be ‘one’ with each other is first to share in the ‘oneness of God!’ Let’s pause and stay here awhile, for this amazing, profound truth most often goes straight over our head. Before we can be one, we need to know we are totally wrapped up first, in the oneness of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It all starts and ends here! We’re in God (may they be in us), an integral part of the great cosmic power that holds everything in the universe together. We are so intent to have theories about this oneness with God, that we understand it properly, we completely forget to experience it. It is a mystery not to be understood, only to be experienced. The second thing about this oneness is that it is relational, not academic. For us to be ‘one’ is to forsake agreeing upon everything. We will never agree on everything, no one does, not even husband and wife, or parent and child. Our oneness is not vested here! For us to be one is to be in healthy relationship! Here we can agree to disagree, here we can celebrate our diversity as strength, here we learn to forgive, to tolerate, to accept, and to love. Those who are our friends and those who are very different, and maybe even opposed to us. Remember Jesus’ words, “Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that!” The two essentials of Christian unity: o First union with God o Second relationship with each other The scriptures have many words and images to describe this oneness between believers – a vine, a body, a family – to name a few – all living, organic images. This oneness of believers could well be the hope of a fearful, judgmental and divided world.