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JESUS PRAYS FOR UNITY

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

Depend­ing on their litur­gic­al arrange­ment and agree­ment too, for some Cath­ol­ics, this Sunday is the Ascen­sion Sunday, while for oth­ers, it is the Sev­enth Sunday of the Paschal cel­eb­ra­tion. Since Niger­ia observed the ascen­sion on Thursday, our reflec­tion is on the read­ings of the sev­enth Sunday of East­er. For the past three Sundays, John has presen­ted to us dif­fer­ent aspects of Jesus. “As a good shep­herd, Jesus lays down his life for the sheep because he sin­cerely cares for them and loves them too; he knows the sheep one after the oth­er. That is, he knows them indi­vidu­ally and can always identi­fy them any­where, every­where; he carefully.….

Jesus’ farewell speech

Jesus’ farewell speech was a kind of testament/will. Accord­ing to Dic­tion­ar­ies, test­a­ment or will is a leg­al doc­u­ment declar­ing a person’s wishes regard­ing the dis­pos­al of his/her prop­erty when he/she dies. Hav­ing com­pleted his mis­sion on earth, Jesus knows it is time for him to return to his Fath­er. Hence, he declares his will to the dis­ciples. While par­ents tend to divide their mater­i­al prop­erty among their chil­dren as their own will, Jesus had a dif­fer­ent under­stand­ing of test­a­ment. Without unity and prop­er under­stand­ing, par­ents’ prop­erty risk being motive of quar­rel and divi­sion among their chil­dren. Jesus pre­tends that his dis­ciples be united. They must agree with one anoth­er as far as the Gos­pel is con­cerned. Unless they are united, the spread­ing of the Gos­pel will be com­prom­ised. Their unity will be a prac­tic­al example that they are the dis­ciples of Jesus. As a guar­an­tee for their unity, Jesus asked the Fath­er to be the ori­gin and the ini­ti­at­or of such unity. He should make the dis­ciples united just as they are united (Jesus and the Fath­er). This is his farewell speech. This is his wish. 

Conclusion

When Jesus prays that the dis­ciples be one, he does not mean nor expect them to seek for the unity. They are not to achieve it because it is already giv­en to them. Jesus does not mean they should ‘become one.’ This would imply the dis­ciples strug­gling to achieve the unity. What he means is that they should ‘con­tin­ue to be one.’ They should con­tin­ue in the same one­ness between he and the Fath­er, and which the dis­ciples have wit­nessed. In fact, Chris­ti­ans are not asked to become one; they are already one and are expec­ted to main­tain it. Just as Jesus and the Fath­er are one, so also should Chris­ti­ans be one. It is not just the unity of organ­iz­a­tion, but of pur­pose. It is togeth­er­ness in view of their mis­sion. It is objectiv­ity in assign­ing pos­i­tions in the Church and in the vari­ous organ­iz­a­tions (cf. First Read­ing). It is only on the basis of such unity that the Gos­pel can flour­ish. This arouses series of interrogations.….

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the SEVENTH Sunday of Pascha (B) is found in vol. II pages 222–228. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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