John 17:20-26 Being One In Christ
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 the world may believe that you sent me.”
The Lord prayed not only for his Apostles, but for us. His love for us is undeniable. His prayers are always answered by the Father. But, when his prayer comes to us (or when his disciples comes to us), do we accept the word of God?
Division among Christians is a scandal. The Lord did not pray that his followers worship in different churches. He prayed specifically that we all be one in Lord, in faith and in baptism. Sure, we come together on many social issues such as abortion, marriage, Christian persecution and the very real threat of secularism. But when it comes to being of one heart, one mind, one body…wow, we couldn’t be getting further from the Truth!
For years we have had the very familiar and very unfortunate infighting among Catholics. It is a scandal. It is especially a scandal when nuns and priests openly dissent against their vows, their promises and the moral teachings of the Church. The Lord trusted them, and they broke their promises. It is even more of a scandal when dissenting faculty members drive faithful faculty members out.
It is a scandal when religious remain silent, absolutely silent, on issues of abortion and contraceptives, yet will speak up (and rightly so) on issues such as war, famine, women’s rights and the environment. One priest recently tried to convince me by telling me, “Well, we have enough people to talk about those other issues.” Hogwash! Yes, all these issues are important, not just some of them. All of these issues are important, yet some are more important than others and there are very good reasons for saying so. Abortion is the number one issue right now because it is striking dead millions of innocent human beings a year; more than the environment, the war, or famine combined in our country. Being silent on this issue is tantamount to being silent on genocide. Why would anyone do that?
It is a scandal when a Catholic institution such as Georgetown University thumbs its nose at the Bishops of the Church; those whom the Apostles appointed as their legitimate successors. That doesn’t mean the Bishops don’t make mistakes. Of course they do. But when it comes to faith and morals, the teachings of the Church are one with Christ, and will always be one with Christ. That is the guarantee of the Holy Spirit upon Peter and His Successors.
A few weeks ago the President of the United States came out in favor of gay marriage. He used and quoted Sacred Scripture to back his claim; and yet, he apparently could not find in Scripture the obvious references defending traditional marriage or the abominations that twist marriage. How scandalous. It is one thing to be a sinner; it is quite another to teach others to sin. God forbid we take the President’s word of approval as more accepting and loving than the Savior’s word or Scripture’s word or the Apostles word that says, “He joined them male and female”. God forbid we take this year’s testimonies as more righteous and meaningful than the testimonies given to us since the dawn of man.
I pray that the President will one day find in Scripture the even more obvious reference to the sanctity of life.
May your Spirit, O Lord, we pray, imbue us powerfully with spiritual gifts, that he may give us a mind pleasing to you and graciously conform us to your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.