Thursday, May 24, 2012

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ”

“We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” - Thomas Merton

Gospel text: John 17:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."

Many of you reading this are citizens of the United States. By "united," we do not mean that people will always agree with each other or with the government. "United" means that all the states accept a certain national political system. However, by Jesus' standards, "United" means that we are graced to be one as Jesus and the Father are One (Jn 17:21-22). "United" means living in Jesus and He in us (Jn 17:23). "United" means being temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) and having the Triune God live within us. "United" means being members of the body of Christ and being baptized into His body, the Church (1 Cor 12:12-13).

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus prays that we would be one as He and the Father are One. Then the world will believe that the Father sent the Son. The people of the world closely observe Christians fighting with each other. The devil showcases to non-Christians our racism, denominations, divisions, and jealousies. This turns them off to the gospel.

In the living memory of His Holiness Pope John Paul II's last visit to Spain before more then a million persons, we find in his words the echo of Jesus' prayer for his disciples: “With my open arms, in my heart I carry you all”

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