Unity in His Name

John 17: 1-11a
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. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I glorified You on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, glorify me Father, with the glory I had with you before the world began. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed 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 believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying 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 17:1-11)

Reflection

The sacrament of the mass was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ when He shared His last supper with His apostles before He willingly accepted His passion and death on the cross in Calvary. 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 united with God and with one another.

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 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). This then must be the role of every believer who has accepted Christ in his life, as in the words of St. Paul: “… to finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). Yes, we must give testimony of God’s love by spreading Christ’s Good news of salvation, and putting into practice what we preach through acts of charity, sacrifice, and forgiveness. It is only by these that we can help bridge the chasms of prejudice and indifference.

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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