THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
UNITY IN CHRIST
Today’s gospel: John 17:20-26
In his final prayer before his arrest and passion, Jesus prays
for unity among his followers, both present and would-be.
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will
believe in me through their word, so that they may all be
one” (v.20-21a). Such unity prayed for is profound and
divine, reflecting the very unity between God the Father and
God the Son. As Jesus says, “as you, Father, are in
me and I in you, that they also may be in us” (v.21b).
What is one purpose for such unity? It is “that the
world may believe that you sent me.” (v.21c). It is
for the purpose of effective worldwide evangelization.
Christendom continues to be in disunity.
western (Catholic) and the eastern (Orthodox) churches.
The Catholic and the Protestant churches.
The Protestant churches among themselves (there are 40,000
Many religious congregations through the centuries that
have split and re-split.
The different lay Church organizations among themselves.
Lay Christian communities that have split.
Lay leaders in opposition to others.
While both sides in a conflict often have some fault, it is
also often true that one side may continue not to want to
be reconciled or be at peace with the other, even if the other
side is willing or even goes out of its way to be reconciled.
The Orthodox Churches (not all) do not accept the primacy
of the pope.
The Protestant churches continue to assault Catholic teaching
such as on Mary.
Lay Church organizations continue to be self-referential
and only serve in the Church to the extent that their own
organizations are benefited.
lay Catholic community continuing to assault another community
and trying to prevent it from doing its work.
leaders in a community not accepting the one vision for
Such churches or communities or leaders fail to see the great
harm being inflicted on the whole Church, and negatively affecting
its witness. Where is the love? Where is the peace and unity?
Where is Christ? Jesus already bestowed on us the Father’s
glory, to enable us to truly become one. “And I have
given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one,
as we are one” (v.22). Such is intended for holiness
and Christian perfection, “I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one” (v.23a).
They are to manifest perfect love in their unity. And again,
for what purpose? So “that the world may know that you
sent me” (v.23b).
churches and communities do not really know God and the love
of God. They may be serving God and His people, but according
to their own worldly ways, including disunity and strife and
a lack of self-sacrificial love. Would that they experience
true conversion, live the life and attitudes of a true Christian,
and reflect the love of God to a darkened world. “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.”
Christ truly in us? Then there should be reconciliation, forgiveness