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
(Scripture Text: EPH 4:1-6)
Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace; one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Unity requires humility.
Understanding that other people are just as important and just as beloved of God as we are is vital to establishing unity. Our fallen nature likes to think of the world revolving around us—but it really doesn’t. The devil also tries to convince us to push to get our own way, or at least to have the last word. But humility seeks to build up other people and to make sure their voices are heard and their concerns are acknowledged.
St. Paul in today’s scripture passage urges us to be patient and to bear with each other in love. He knows that unity takes time. It must be cultivated and maintained. Few things bring about unity more powerfully than the decision to sacrifice our own agenda for the good of another.
Finally, Paul gives us the most important key to unity: the Trinity. One Spirit … One Lord … One God. How does their unity look? Jesus obeys the Father. The Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus to us. The Father glorifies the Son. Each Person honors the others before himself. If we want an environment of unity, we can start by contributing to an environment of honor. We can look to each other’s needs before our own, reverencing the beauty that God has created in them.
Clearly, it takes work to bring people together. But it’s well worth it