Jn 17:20-26 The Glory of One
“I pray…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.”
How important is Christian unity? Very important! We know that unity brings peace, which brings joy and yields fulfillment. Unity, the two becoming one, is a must for mankind. It is a must in marriage. It is a must in true friendships. It is a must for sanity (peace) of mind, body and soul. It is a must to end all wars. But most importantly, it is a must for a disciple of the Lord.
But what does unity mean? Well, for one thing, it is not a mere Christianity. In other words, it is not a dummying or watering down for what unites us all. We are not looking for Christ’s skeleton or his remains. We are not searching for the humanist Christ or the revolutionary Christ or the anarchist Christ. We are looking for the resurrected body – his glory!
In terms of morality, we should move beyond “what must I avoid” to “what must I do”. We know what the Lord would say; I want your mind, body, strength and soul. I want it all! And only the Lord can bring us to full communion. Regardless of how charismatic or amazing a leader appears to be, no human leader (or ideal) will ever bring world peace.
The unity that Jesus seeks is similar to the unity he shares with His Father. “The Father and I are one” is not limited to mere actions or ideas. They are one in divinity, in being. They are one in substance, consubstantial. In fact, in the new translation of the Roman Missal, the term consubstantial has been re-introduced. What was lost has been found!
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the Lord’s gift to all those who wish to follow Him. It is the gift to be another Christ, literally, and he gives us this gift through the Sacraments, through prayer and through the sharing of his body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.
We will not find the Lord at the foot of the mountain. We will find him at the top, at the peak. This is where we must climb to. The least amount of effort will never be good enough. The clichés of life will never amount to anything. It is at the peak that we find our Lord, that we are in His presence and that we become one with him. It requires trial as Abraham found. It requires obedience as Moses observed. It requires prayer as the Lord instructed. It also requires faith and strength for all those who wish to climb. Finally, it requires love which is the foundation of all Christian endeavors – in all that the Lord’s Will desires.
“Keep me safe, O Lord, for in you I take refuge…Therefore, my heart is glad and my soul rejoices…You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your right hand forever – in your presence.” (Ps 16:1-11)
Of course division is necessary in order to bring unity. The Lord divided and conquered. The Apostles divided. St. Paul divided. But this division should never exist among Christians, Christ’s brothers and sisters. The division should be among those who still belong to the world and those who are working their way out of this world. A healthy division should exist between the believer and the non-believer.
They should know you are Catholic before you even tell them! This is how the world may believe in you and the One who sent you.