John presents us with one of the priestly prayers of Jesus and in it one of the things that Jesus prays for is the unity of the Church. Unity should be one of the strongest witnessing points of the Church but the reality is that the Church is divided between, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and numerous other groups that have split from the mainline Churches at one time or another in history. Some people seem to regard splits as essential and even good for the health of the Church. I think they are a disaster and certainly not willed by God! People will defend the splits by saying the original was not being faithful to the Gospel or for one reason or another. However, if we read today’s Gospel and honestly reflect upon it, I think we can see that Jesus does not support the division of the Body of Christ into different parts here and there at all!

The heart of Jesus is a heart that desires unity. What is the nature of the Gospel if it is not a call for us to reunite with God after a life of sin and thus become one with him? The very heart of the Gospel speaks of a power to untie people together with God, not split them apart along national, doctrinal or disciplinary lines! We have to ask ourselves how seriously we are going to take the words of Jesus in this Gospel – if seriously, then what are we doing to heal the divisions in within our own communities and then within the whole Body of Chris? If not, then how can we say that the Scriptures are the Word of God if we are just going to pick and choose those portions we will accept and those we will reject!

The Holy Spirit has been sent to draw us to God – as we all approach that single entity we call God, we will be drawn closer and closer together ourselves. This physical imagery must also be translated into the reality in our hearts and minds such that we are not just near to one another but that we all become true brothers and sisters in the Son of God, Jesus.

How can I work to bring greater unity between the various different Christian groups that I relate to? Can I be an instrument of unity for the Church?

Jesus, you desire that all who follow you be of one mind and one heart. Teach us how to work with one another and not against one another so that the Gospel will be proclaimed clearly and with power.