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Jesus' Prayer for Unity

John 17:20-26

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory,

the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Jesus gives thanks to the Father and prays for His friends, the apostles and disciples, so that they may know and believe He has come from the Father and will go forth and continue His mission. He knows all too well their penchants for falling into disagreement and competition with one another. Jesus prays that held together by His Spirit they may remain one in heart and mind. He prays they may come to the same unity with God the Father as He has.

It is no secret God's Church today is fractured and Jesus' prayer remains unfulfilled. Due to human weakness and the practice of Christianity, numerous divisions have occurred in God's Church. Many faith communities struggle with internal strife. And on a more local level, congregations and parishes experience their own difficulties.

God commands us to love one another. Jesus prays that the love that is between Him and the Father be evident in the disciples' love for one another—in our love for one another.

May we focus not on our differences but on the foundation of ecumenical Christian beliefs given to us by God through Moses in the ten commandments and through the words of Jesus to the disciples.

Those divine instructions that unite us as One Church—as God's Church.

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