I pray . . . that they may all be one.


Imagine yourself in that upper room with Jesus.   He knows he will not be in this world much longer.   He knows the pressures his disciples will face in his absence.   As he looks around the room, he sees Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax collector.   Would they be able to stay united once he was gone?   Even the brothers James and John, or Peter and Andrew, might go separate ways.   And what about the people who would come to believe through their word?

In those last hours, what was at the forefront of Jesus’ mind and heart?   Unity.

It can feel like an unattainable goal for us today.   Granted, we can’t single-handedly resolve two thousand years of division in the Church.   Disunity seems to be part of our human nature.   In Jesus’ time, it was division between Gentiles and Jews.   Then there was the division between the Church in the East and the West.   Then came the division between Protestants and Catholics.   On top of all that, there is even division between brothers and sisters in one family or parish.   How can we possibly become one?

Remember, Jesus prays for you.   The quest for unity is not limited to theological dialogues or occasional joint prayer services.   It starts with Jesus helping you love the people right in front of you.   Even if you don’t agree with them, you can still perceive the grace of God in their lives.   Because unity on a grand scale starts with everyday unity with the people you know.

Think about Jesus looking at the faces of each of his disciples.   Now place yourself there too.   But not just you—imagine someone you are not at peace with.   Maybe you and your spouse see things differently on a sensitive issue.   Whenever the topic arises, a wall seems to cut you off from one another.

Jesus is gazing into your eyes.   He is praying that you be united.   Can you come to agreement?   Can you exchange views and understand each other’s position?   What might Jesus pray for you—and for the other person?   How might he encourage you to be one?

Don’t give in to discouragement.   Remember, Jesus himself is praying for you!

“Lord, make us one!”

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11