May they be one, just as we are one
Readings: 1st: Acts 20:17-27; Ps: 68; Gos: John 17:1-11
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
On this Wednesday of the Seventh week of Easter, we continue our reflection on the “Priestly Prayer” of Christ for his disciples.
Today, we see a very important aspect of this prayer. It is the basis of the dialogue of Christian Ecumenism. That is, on Christian unity.
This prayer is the basis of the famous encyclical of Pope John Paul II, “Ut unum sint” on ecumenical commitment (25 May, 1995). After 25 years, it still maintains its relevance and prophetic character.
Like every good shepherd, leader and parents, one of the greatest concerns of Christ is the unity of his flock. He knew, that Satan would do everything possible to divide and disperse them.
Christ knew that division was an imminent threat, to the life and mission of his disciples. So, he prayed passionately: “Holy Father, keep them in your name. So that they may be one, just as we are one.”
Looking at our situation today as Christians, one may be tempted to say that, the pray of Christ was not answered because, his Church is so divided. However, it simply shows that Christ saw it coming.
So offered this prayer because, he knows that unity is more powerful that division. He knows that we achieve more united than divided. He knows that we are better together than when we are divided.
The division we see today among ourselves is a failure on our part as Christians, and not the failure of the prayer of Christ. It is the product of our disobedience, weakness and selfishness.
Pope John Paul writes: “To believe in Christ, means to desire unity. It is an act of obedience that broadens the horizons of the heart and mind.” So, division is a sign that we are in need of God’s intervention and mercy.
Today, Christ continues to pray for us, his followers. He continues to ask his Father protect and keep us united in his mission.
As we continue our novena to the Holy Spirit, today’s gospel helps us to prepare for new out pouring of the Holy Spirit in our life this Pentecost. Let us pray that he will help us when he comes.
Peace be with you all!