A reflection on the Gospel for Thursday May 20, 2010 (John 17:20-26) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
In today’s Gospel we hear of something rather important. We hear of something Jesus particularly prayed for—the prayer that was deep within Him: “I pray not only for these, 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.” (Jn 17 :21-23) It could take a lifetime to understand that prayer!
One thing that I think is particularly good for us to hear right now is, “that they may be brought to perfection as one”. That is Christ’s deepest prayer. Who is going to be against that? Who has as his one goal to dismantle the love of Christ? All evil. Everything that divides is not of God because Jesus’ prayer is that we are one body in Him.
So we have to look at our own lives and find what things cause us not to be one body. Usually our divisions have to do with rivalries, jealousies, attachments, self-will-- anytime we do things our own way instead of looking for the good of another. We should look at our own lives and ask ourselves if we are being converted into the one body in Christ. Is that where our conversion lies?
Are we more concerned with looking good—being called holy before we are holy— than looking for the good of the whole? Sometimes that requires that we give another the place that shines. Sometimes we have to step back, even if someone else doesn’t do quite as well as we do, and give another the chance that they may need to feel more a part of the whole. We need to put the emphasis, as Christ tells us, not on what others do for us, but on what we do for others. If we are forgetting ourselves and doing for another, we are already stepping into oneness.