Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
March 27th, 2010

Robert P. Heaney
John A. Creighton University Professor
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Saturday of the Fifth Week in Lent
Ezekiel 37:21-28
Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd
John 11:45-56

The settings of our two readings are very different, but in both we hear God’s expressed intention for His people. In the first, Ezekiel, a member of the priestly class and a refugee in Babylon, voices God’s desire not only to restore the captives to Israel, but even to unite with them the far-flung exiles from the northern kingdom who had been carried into captivity many years earlier. In the second, Caiaphas, another priest, this time in Jerusalem, and concerned to have Jesus silenced, voices God’s intention “to gather into one the dispersed children of God”, which would come about as a result of Jesus’ death.

Today, as we stand on the threshold of Holy Week, in which we will make that saving death present in our own time, it is helpful to reflect both on the unity which God Himself prays for throughout the Bible (e.g., “. . . that they all may be one, as you Father in Me, and I in You . . . that the world may believe . . .”) and on the emphasis throughout on a people, not just individuals.

Our history makes abundantly clear that we humans are irreversibly divisive – “we” and “them” in a thousand different guises. It’s embedded in our natures. Thus, clearly, the unity God desires has to be God’s own work. We ourselves can’t do it without being transformed, without being a new creation, without the life that God gives us in baptism – all of which we will re-actualize next Saturday at the Easter vigil. Can we believe it? Dare we believe it?

As Christians, as disciples of Jesus, unity – unity within families, unity within nations, unity between nations, unity between churches, and unity within churches – must be our first priority. It can’t be left to someone else. It’s not that there are no differences – “Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female”. There are indeed differences. But, “all are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). The differences don’t matter in God’s eyes. God clearly enough sees the flaws that we see in one another, in one group or another, in one religion or another – the flaws that seem to us to block our becoming one. God sees them too. God loves us all anyway. That’s the ultimate basis for unity – a people loved by God. We’re all one around the table of the Lord. We’re all invited to the feast. “We” just have to be willing to sit down with “them”.
Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail

Online Ministries Home Page | Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook