Today’s Gospel: John 17, 20-26
It’s an unbelieving world. Every day, it seems, we hear of a new injustice against those who believe in God. From the world’s point of view, why shouldn’t faith be attacked? It’s “just a superstition held by a bunch of old-fashioned hypocrites.”
But maybe part of the reason our faith is under attack is us. In today’s gospel, Jesus twice asks his father that we who believe may be one, united so “that the world may believe/know that you sent me.”
This sounds wonderful! But unless we cooperate with God’s grace, it’s impossible. It’s so much easier to ignore our need for unity with the people who are more (or less) “traditional” in how they worship. It’s hard to feel at one with someone whose style of dress makes me cringe. Surely I don’t need to be in unity with that person, whose politics make me angry?
And yet our Lord clearly says that we are to be one, so that the world may know him, and may know his love. So to achieve unity, God’s love must be our motivation, and our method. I may not be able to agree with my brother or sister, but I can choose to act toward him or her in love! As our mutual love increases, so will our unity. Eventually, perhaps another little corner of the skeptical world will come to believe, as we are brought closer to perfection as one.
Who in my church is it hardest for me to think about loving? Why? What steps might Jesus ask me to take to increase the unity and love of His body, the church?
Father, you heard your Son’s prayer for our unity. Help me to hear Your voice telling me how to grow in unity and love with my brothers and sisters in the faith. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Ellen Thomas
Ellen Thomas has been married to Roger for 34 years, and has 6 children, 5 children-in-law, and 12 grandchildren. She loves knitting, reading (mysteries and sci-fi are among her favorites,) singing in the choir, and cooking lots of food for family and friends.