Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)
As he entered his last hours on earth, facing a heinous death, Jesus Christ took time to pray to His Father. And in those moments, he took time to pray for me and for you. In the last part of the High Priestly Prayer, he prayed that the love that exists between His Father and Him would be replete within us.
I find it incredible that a man facing his own death would take the time to intercede on my behalf. He prayed for the strength and unity of his followers with him at the table, and all his followers to come.
Even before we were conceived or our name was ever spoken, Jesus had prepared our way with prayer — a prayer of God’s love (“and that you loved them even as you love me”), a prayer of desired union (“I wish that where I am they also may be with me”), a prayer of indwelling and abiding knowledge and love (“and the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them”).
In a special way Jesus prays that as members of his body the church we would be united in one heart and mind as he and his Father are one. The unity of Jesus and his Father is a unity of mind and heart, mutual love and trust, honor and respect. Because Jesus loved us first and united us in baptism we are called to live in a unity of love.
“ A Unity of Love.” It’s hard to believe that Christians today are living in that unity – it certainly doesn’t appear that way in the social media or the public press. Instead, they highlight the significant division that is taking place in our society. Personal opinions and political commentary have become the source of much turmoil during these uncertain times.
There is an incredible divide in the United States and it has permeated the Christian Church. As disciples of Christ, we are called to work towards unity. It is our mission to strive for union with the Father and the Son that Jesus prayed for in John’s Gospel.
Unity does not mean conformity. That does not mean that we are mandated to have the same thoughts, opinions, or political perspectives, but we are called to be united “through Him, with Him, and in Him” as one body to spread the Gospel in our world. As agents of the Gospel, we must focus on showing the love of Christ to those around us. Even when we are faced with division, our hearts should be open so that we can “love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves”.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to love and lay down our lives for all who believe in him. If we are willing to die for our brothers and sisters in Christ, how much more should we strive to live in harmony, love, and unity with one another.
Prayer of The Day
“Loving Father, your Son interceded for us on the eve of his passion and death so that we could become one with you. Help us to grow deeper in our understanding of what it means to live in your love, so that we may more completely be agents of the Gospel in our daily lives. Send down your spirit to heal the brokenness in our world and help us to open our hearts to your call of unity. We ask this through your son, Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Bitterness, anger and resentment are choices, but so are happiness and joy.
A true follower of Jesus makes the choice for the latter and not the former.
He allows the grace and power of God to determine how he will see and regard things, his life, his relationships, the circumstances and events that come his way, and he will never allow the darker shades of life to ever overcome his trust in Jesus’