WEDNESDAY, SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER (Saint Justin, Martyr)
Acts 20: 28-38; Ps 68: 29-30, 33-36; Jn 17: 11-19
UNITY: ‘THAT THEY BE ONE’
Today’s readings speak to us about unity. In the first reading, St Paul is giving a farewell message to the Ephesians, pouring out his heart and soul as to all he has done for the community. He however is worried about what will happen to it when he is gone. Paul, confident in the power of the Holy Spirit, was able to brave everything the future might hold for him. Placing before them his own example, he tells the elders of the church of Ephesus that the servants of the Good Shepherd must also be shepherds of the sheep. He reminded them of the dangers they will face; the temptations of the world will always be there. They must be constantly vigilant to keep the faith alive. They do not own the Church but are its servants; the Church belongs to God, who has acquired it with the blood of his own Son. Similarly, the disciples of the Son are also called to sanctify the Church with their life of sacrifice.
In the Gospel, we find Jesus praying that we be united in him. Jesus prayed to the Father to protect his disciples from the evil one, from the prince of this world. He desired that they be consecrated and dedicated to the service and mission of the Church. Jesus prayed “that they may be one”. This longing for unity and reconciliation is a profoundly Christian sentiment.
All who love Jesus feel deeply afflicted by the division that rends the Church of Christ. To pray for unity will make our hearts like unto the heart of Jesus. It will help us broaden our outlook and raise us above petty conceits and narrow prejudices. Even though God wants to save all humankind, he cannot save those who deliberately close themselves to the grace of God or who stand in opposition to his saving action with full knowledge and will. That is why Jesus prayed for the world and for his followers that they be consecrated in the truth, that is, that they may remain ever faithful to him and to his teaching, for, Jesus himself is the Truth.
Response: You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God
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