Christ’s Prayer for Unity

Challenge: Ask for forgiveness and begin that healing.
by Father Paul Campbell, LC | Source: Catholic.net


May 16, 2010
Seventh Sunday of Easter

John 17:20-26
Lifting his eyes up to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: "Holy Father, 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, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. 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."


Introductory Prayer:  Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.

Petition: Lord, heal the wounds of disunity and disharmony in my life.

1. Only One Shepherd
Jesus prays for the unity of all believers. He wants us to be one, united in him and with the Father. Today we find many fractures and divisions within society. When we look around, we see so many different denominations. God does not want this division and fragmentation. He prayed that we may be one so that this oneness would be a witness to the world that Jesus was sent from the Father. If the world remains unconvinced about Christ and the Good News of salvation, the fault begins with us. How present is Christian unity in my prayers and sacrifices?

2. Unity Begins in the Family
Today we also find an increasing disunity within the family. Divorce has ripped families apart and separated children from their parents. It is a rare child who is not scarred by divorce. The detrimental effect of “no fault” divorce on children is well known, yet few seem ready to challenge the assumption that a marriage should be easier to terminate than a car lease. The unity Christ wills for all families is based on his love. He is the glue to hold us together. It requires us to put others ahead of ourselves and to seek to serve. It requires a constant effort to listen and to communicate, to forgive and to let go. It is not found in the mantra of self-esteem and self-fulfillment. How ready am I to ask for or grant forgiveness? How often do I put my family ahead of my work and my own plans?

3. Healing Inner Divisions
Sin corrodes love and turns us inward to look toward ourselves. We grow increasingly selfish. With the world tirelessly promoting freedom as license to do whatever we want, we become slaves to our passions. How often do we prefer to indulge our own whims and desires? How free are we to say no to sin in our life? Sin creates an interior disharmony, an interior fracture between what our conscience presents as God’s will and how we are actually living. If we love God, we will obey him. Love apart from such obedience is an illusion – a lie. If my relationship with Christ is not right, then all my other relationships rest on shifting sand.

Conversation with Christ:  Jesus, it is hard to forgive others. Sometimes it is hard to forgive myself. I need your strength to move me beyond the pain and struggle. I need the security of your love and your presence in my life. Help me to mend the disharmony in my life that you want me to fix. Heal the brokenness in my heart, in my home, in my family and in my Church.

Resolution:  I will ask for forgiveness and begin that healing. 



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