And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” vs. 11John 17:6-11
We know that a sense of unity is integral to any successful marriage. Not only is it scriptural, but references to the importance of “two becoming one” are also heard at secular or non-religious weddings. Of course saying it is one thing, but actually living that way can be enormously difficult to pull off. But Jesus didn’t just hold up such unity as an aspiration for couples–John reports that he wanted his disciples to think of themselves as one–they were to have the same unity with each other that he had with God. And they really didn’t have an option. Jesus had called them into one body through the gospel, just as the Holy Spirit has called us through the gospel and formed us into the Body of Christ. We are the Communion of Saints, a worldwide community of believers, and our unity is what gives us strength and security in this fractured world. And just as couples struggle to be one in their marriages, even small faith communities have a tough time with unity. We all know the ugly stories and have seen the breaking apart and splintering of congregations. And every time that happens, the Body suffers, and our communal mission is damaged. But miracles happen! Marriages can be saved–and praying faith communities can be restored!
Thought for the Day: How unified is my faith community?