Ps 68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab
How is it that we are so far from being "one"? I don't mean
just the major Christian churches. It just seems that there is so much
lack of togetherness and unity - in our university, among great people committed
to ministry. (Paul even warns the Ephesian priests that there'll be
trouble in their own ranks.) But, there are divisions in our families,
our parish and faith communities that discourage us. And, there are
the terrible divisions in the world.
When we see unity, togetherness, a genuine one-ness that mirrors
the one-ness of the Father and Jesus, it is very powerful and inspiring. And
when we see it, we won't have to look very hard to notice that it is very
"not of this world," or "counter-cultural" as might say today.
Perhaps the desire of Jesus, in his final prayer for us here on
earth, can give us hope today. If it continues to be Jesus' desire that
our divisions be healed - and it surely must be - then Jesus will give us
the grace we need. And, the wonder is, that no matter how stubborn or
independent or un-cooperative we are, it is our own deepest desire to be
one with others. Many events in our lives may have done some damage
to that desire - bruised it pretty badly or hid it away for so long that we
are unaccustomed to knowing it - but that desire, to be in communion with
others, is deep in our hearts.
When Jesus says he "consecrates" us in the truth, perhaps he means
that there's a sacredness in each of us that is, with the spark of grace,
ready to live in the truth of who we are. The spark of grace is to
experience the love Jesus has for us. He gave his very self for us
- forsaking all the options that might have seemed "better for me." And
he did this so that you and I might give our very selves to our marriage,
our priesthood, our relationships, our communities, every good we try to do
with others. Consecrated to the truth of who we are - for others, not
for ourselves - we can be one - just as Jesus and the Father are one.
Let's all pray to the Father today, in Jesus' name, that we might all be one. It's a big prayer. It's a big desire. It begins at home, with the people closest to us, at work with the people with whom we struggle the most, in relationships that need the greatest healing. No greater joy awaits us; no mission is more pressing; nothing will change the world more dramatically; nothing responds to the desire of Jesus more completely.
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