One in Faith

John 17: 20-26
Acts 22: 30; 23: 6-11 / Ps 16: 1-2, 5, 7-11

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
(John 17:20)

Differences in forms of worship,
Won’t be resolved by long debate;
But we find in Jesus’ kingship
Lies the unity of our faith.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17: 20-26)

Reflection

When we consider the hundreds, or maybe thousands of Christian denominations all over the world divided by doctrinal differences, it makes us wonder if the prayer of Jesus nearly 2000 years ago has ever been answered. Jesus prayed, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” How can the world believe that Jesus was sent by the Father to unify all His followers if the Christian world remains fragmented?

But wait. Don’t we all constitute the Mystical Body of Christ? Recall what Jesus did at the Last Supper which the Church memorializes everyday in the celebration of the Eucharist: Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’ (Mt.26:26). We are His body, broken in order to be shared! When the schism in the Catholic Church happened in 16th century Europe during the so-called Age of Reformation, this did not mean victory for the evil forces. It actually unleashed a wave of evangelization throughout the world, as Catholic and Protestant missionaries competed in converting nations to the Christian faith.

We might be diverse in doctrines and forms of worship, but all Christians are one in faith. Through our faith men of all colors continue to receive the commission that Jesus bestowed on His apostles, and handed down to generations of Christians throughout the millennia of Church history. Whatever church we belong to, as long as we believe in Jesus Christ as our risen Lord, God and Savior, and is One God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, then we are one body, all children of God, united in the truth of His covenant.

Jesus’ prayer had long been answered in all Christian denominations who live and profess God’s Word in their lives. The world comes to believe in Jesus Christ as it sees His Gospel values and ideals being manifested in our life. Through our individual missions, witnessing to the glory of God, Christ continues to make Himself known to others, and in this apostolate God’s love will grow abundantly in our lives.

Lord Jesus, You have shown us how much You love those who are faithful to You by praying to the Father to include them in Your glory. May we be worthy of Your great love as we try to imitate You in carrying our own crosses in life, thanking God for the privilege of being one with You. Amen.

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