United in Jesus’ Name

John 17: 1-11a
Acts 20: 17-27 / Psa 68

Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one.
(John 17:11)

Live what we preach, God’s Word proclaim,
By words and deeds that testify
Our unity in Jesus’ Name,
By Whom our God is glorified.

Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:1-11)

Reflection

No other sacrament brings the faithful together to praise and worship the Father as one. The sacrament of the holy mass was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ when He shared His last supper with His apostles just before His passion and death on the cross. The Holy Eucharist of the mass is the most important of all the seven sacraments not only because we receive the Body of Christ in its celebration, but because through it we are unified with God and with each other.

As we line up for Holy Communion and sing the song, “We Are One Body”, let us pray to the Father for that unity that our Church is still striving to achieve with other Christians. This moving song is actually a reminder of our brokenness, and what makes this divisiveness more painful is that most of us have become complacent about it. We have come to accept this status quo, and perhaps because of this, the brokenness in our Church has led to other forms of division, like divorce and abortion.

Jesus knew the importance of unity in His flock, and specifically asked the Father to protect the unity of his followers and guard it against division. The primary goal of the enemy is division – to separate us from God. We cannot claim unity with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father if we are not one with each other. Our fellowship with God depends on our unity, as much as on our witnessing — to be one “so that the world may believe” that Jesus is from God (John 17:21). There may be times when our prejudice or bias against a member of our brotherhood becomes a stumbling block to genuine fellowship. Or we may feel that the problem is with the other fellow because he is the one who has such negative attitude towards us. The question we must ask ourselves in this situation is: how much effort have we put into rebuilding the ruined relationship? If we must follow our Lord Jesus, remember that He never gave up on His apostles, even if they had denied and abandoned Him.

Father God, help our Church achieve the unity of faith that all Christians sorely need. The forces of darkness draw strength from the division of Your people. Let our calling be not only to proclaim Your reconciliation but also to live it. Amen.

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