7th Sunday of Easter

05-29-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Unity and diversity can exist together. Our western minds have a grave difficulty seeing unity without conformity. We tend to believe that unless everyone believes the same thing, assents to the same body of truths, styles, and opinions, unity is not possible. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, expresses a tenderness and an intimacy that the disciples actually can witness. This same tenderness and love are also reflected in his desire for unity and oneness. Jesus passionately wants all to be one. It is very clear that the success of Jesus’ mission and the advance of the Gospel rises or falls with whether this unity is achieved. And it is a unity that is achieved around a person and not particulars. 

Our church is extremely divided. These divisions all center on various theologies, philosophies, structures, and styles. We allow these particular concerns and interpretations, valid as many can be, to drive wedges between us and put us at odds with each other. They enrage us and cause us to lash out at other members of the Body of Christ. Differences are bound to exist in any group. We are unique and diverse people. Staunchly clinging to particular agendas and ideologies while waving the “we’re right, you’re wrong” banner as we forge ahead in battle does little to advance the real mission of Christ. We are perceived as weak, fractioned, self-focused and serving, and lacking empathy and love. How can the work of salvation be accomplished like this? We sacrifice our credibility. For what?

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” These words describe exactly who the glorified Christ really is. Jesus wants us to see this glory! Believe this! This is the unifying principle that draws the Body of Christ together as one, not our particular preferences of worship! We give too much power to our preferences, and all too easily forget that the real mission of Christ is much more than that! If we can work at truly loving each other as members of Christ’s Body despite the differences that can so quickly divide us, then maybe we’ll a bit more convincing to those who do not believe. The Risen Christ comes to us through the Eucharist. It doesn’t matter where or how. Gather wherever you can and receive. We cannot substitute Jesus’ passion with our own. We are one.