May 24

John 17:7-11

“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” vs. 11

According to the gospels there was a kind of unity among Jesus and his disciples that was of great value. He was able to send them out in his name and they did well in bringing healing to the hurting. But it wasn’t all sweetness and light! There were divisions among them, and occasional arguments–and of course there was a denial and a betrayal. Unity is tough! In John’s gospel Jesus prays that his followers would be one, in the same way that he was one with God. That has in fact, been one of the dreams of the Church all along. But if we’re thinking about unity without disputes and divisions we’re going to always be disappointed. It didn’t happen among the 12 and it certainly hasn’t happened since. Life in the Church has been contentious from the beginning. But the unity that Jesus is talking about is different. The unity that we have with him and one another is deep and inclusive. It’s rooted in love, and it happens despite our splintering tendencies. The Christ who was in the beginning and in whose image each of us was made, draws us inexorably together into a unity that preserves and protects us for all eternity. And not even we can mess it up!

Thought for the Day: When am I most likely to feel the unity of the Church?

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