Daily Reflection – Jun 1, 2017
Thursday 1 June 2017
First Reading: Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
Psalm 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26
Today’s Saint: St Justin, Martyr (Memorial)
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.”
That they may all be one. (John 17:21)
How can so many different people become united? Not even one person is the same as another. There’s the tattoo-covered teenager down the street, the atheist coworker, even the Christian relative from a different denomination. How can Jesus possibly expect us to be one with all the “others” in our midst?
By the power of the Holy Spirit, that’s how. One of the Spirit’s greatest works is to create unity. Think, on a cosmic scale, of how he brought together heaven and earth, God and humanity, through the cross of Christ. Recall too how he brought together Pharisees and tax collectors, Gentiles and Jews, centurions and fishermen, into one Church in Jerusalem. Prejudices and fears melted away as the Spirit touched people’s hearts and showed them how magnificent life could be if they all came together in Christ.
Does unity mean everyone is identical? No! God created us as unique individuals, each with the ability to glorify him in our own way. He doesn’t want us to be all the same; he wants us to put off the temptation to separate from those who are different from us and to treat them as unequal. On the contrary, he wants us to see how we belong to each other and how we are all loved and treasured by our heavenly Father.
Becoming one with the 6.5 billion people on our planet is unrealistic. But we can focus on becoming one with the people we see every day, especially our spouse or children.
Today is a good day to come to the Lord in prayer and ask him to show us how we think about people who are different from us. A few specific groups or individuals might come to mind.
Do you sense any judgment or envy in your thoughts toward them? Ask the Spirit to replace those thoughts with love. Love doesn’t push away; it draws near and seeks to break down barriers.
“Holy Spirit, teach me how to join in the prayer of Jesus. Lord, make us all one!”