United in Jesus’ Name

John 17: 1-11
Acts 20:17-27 / Ps 68:10-11,20-21

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 we glorify.

Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that Your Son may glorify you. You have given Him power over all people that he might give eternal life to all those You have given him. For this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I have glorified You on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, give me, in your presence, the same glory I had with you before the world began. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have kept Your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And I have been glorified in them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:1-11a)

Reflection

The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist 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 in Calvary. This sacrament 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 united with God and with one other. We especially feel this very strongly in our Brotherhood, (BCBP), with Jesus as our common Brother, and God as our common Father. As St. Paul said, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1Cor.12:12-13)

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 tragic is because 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).

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psa 133:1). 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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