Sunday, October 17, 2010
Blog # 81 UNITY IN TRUTH
Blog # 81 UNITY IN TRUTH Jesus is with the Apostles in the final hours He would spend with them before His agony in Gethsemane and his loving and obedient death on the cross. (Jn 17 : 20 ff). We hear him praying: "I pray...for those who will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me , that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and You in me, may they be so completely one that the world may realize it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as You have loved me." I cannot see how anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus could take these words of Jesus lightly. Yet we tolerate divisions of the Church almost as if they were in agreement with His prayer and desire. Part of the problem seems to be that none of us wants to be wrong or deficient in our faith, which is perfectly natural. In order to give ourselves the security we need to live in the conviction that we are right, it turns out that others who differ with us must logically be wrong. Then we try to discover and hand down among ourselves our assessment of the error we are judging. With various levels of success and generally with little or no personal contact and discussion with members of the actual group of people we are judging, we place personal salvation at the top of our concerns and relegate the prayer of Jesus to a back burner. On the other hand, as I see it, none of us is completely right until all of us are one. Isn't that what Jesus prayed for the night before He died? Suppose you were a teacher and you had eighteen students in your class. Suppose you taught them all to spell cat C-A-T. In learning it, all eighteen students would agree with you. But then, when they related to one another, if they really learned what you taught, it would necessarily follow they would also agree with one another. If not, , something would be wrong. This is similar to the way I think it is with the churches. Jesus is the teacher of all. We wish to learn and believe, to follow and live what Jesus taught. We want to agree with Him, to be one with Him. Others feel this same way about Him. The fact we are not one indicates that something is wrong. It is this problem I am inviting you to pray about. "...that all be one...that the world may believe it was you who sent me." Our divisions stand in the way of the success we hope for in our missionary endeavors in fulfilling the GREAT COMMAND to bring the Gospel message to all the world. (Mat.28: 16 - 20). Lord Jesus, have mercy on us. Send your Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see the tragedy of your Church divided. Help us to see the evil of our divisions as infinitely worse than the evil of terrorism which can kill the body but not the soul. Help us to see how we are betrayed by the evil of personal sin and led astray in our quest for happiness by the secularization of our current American culture. Father, may the desire of Jesus that all who believe in Him be one be our desire. In His Holy Name I pray.