Gospel Acclamation: John 14:18
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord. I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice!
Scholars of Theology will often tell you that while looking at the Gospel of John, that it takes about 3 chapters for you to see that God and Jesus are doing just fine. And if you look at the Gospel reading for today’s you can see where that inside joke among the scholars come from.
You will see that the message today is essentially straight theology, Jesus and the Father are ONE, and this is conveyed and repeated several times in the few short verses. We get a strong sense of the message of unity, but the message of unification and that of being one does not cease with just the Father and the Son. We will see that Christ incudes all. Not only those that are in the moment following Him, but also those that “believe in me through their word.” Simply put, Jesus is praying for us to become one. But we do not have to venture out far, or even look very far to know that Christs’ message and prayer has not become fully realized. Just think about all of the different split churches (i.e. denominations), beliefs about women’s roles in the church, ethical practices, doctrinal practices, etc. We should take comfort in knowing that this is not just a problem that we realize in our world today, because we know that the Early Church also found themselves faced with this reality as well. You might wish to look at it in this light: As long as there have been Christians, there has been disunity—we should work harder to strive to trust Jesus and the message He brings. For if we BELIEVE in the message that Christ brings to us, then the world will be set in a position to better find and experience the message of God, and unity as ONE body of Christ.
That they might be brought to perfection as one.
One thing that we as humans do well is spotting those things that are different. In fact, we often do this too well! It is easier for us to want to believe that things should all blend in and be the same. We are then able to find those things that are different and easily call them out. But have we forgot that Christ did not pray for us to be the same? He prayed for us to be united. If we actually looked closer at what we felt were different we might actually see that they have more in common than they often do different. IF we spend more time trying to find that common ground rather than trying to find ways to set people, and even groups, apart, then we will actually find ourselves in a position to better understand and fulfill Christs prayer for all of us.
The Lord is King, the most high over all the earth.
In the Acts of the Apostle we see division and enmity. We hear of Stephen, the first Martyr, brought to the Sanhedrin for judgement and punishment. After being condemned to be stoned, we hear the call of Stephen for unity. For the sins of those who cast the stones upon him to not be held against them. It is this message that shows us the compassion of Stephen combines with the ability to show and experience “perfect love” granted by God towards those that wish to bring him harm—that they might come to experience unity with him through the forgiveness of this sin. It is here that Stephen comes to once again remind us of the possibility of reconciliation through the sacrifice of God, and through God alone. As we come to the conclusion of Revelation which we have been reading throughout the Easter season, we find the hope and wish for fulfillment through Christs desire for unity: Jesus invites us , “Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life giving water.”
In the psalm we find Israel worshiping among other nations who serve other gods. In present day, idols are not foreign gods, but rather the things that we allow to take a higher place than God in our lives. Chaos and despair are bound to rule when we allow things such as: money, power, fame, drugs, pornography, hate or anything “thing” come before God or take a place above God. When we can find the personal will power to place all of these things below God, and submit ourselves to the powerful God—allowing him to become: “Most High over All the Earth”; it is THEN that we will find peace and unity among all the nations.
St Jude of Impossible situations, PRAY FOR US!
Deus lo Vult!