“[T]hat 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.” // John 17:21
I recently met a young woman who expressed her disappointment in the Church. She talked about how young people were easily judged because they loved culture or were associated with people who had left the Church. She talked about unwelcomed hard questions and a watered-down Gospel.
“Is the Church really ‘one’?” she sighed.
In John 17, under a dark and dismaying backdrop of betrayal, Jesus put words around His deepest longings for His beloved friends: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us” (John 17:21).
To be “in Him” is to unite with Him in His suffering, death, and resurrection.
To be “in Him” is to be infused with virtues of faith, hope, and love.
To be “in Him” is to be immersed in our baptismal identity.
There are more things that unite us than those that divide.
How easy it is as we encounter similar cynicism to fall into the trap of gossip? How easy it is to simply recoil and retreat?
What we’ve watered down is not the Gospel, but our understanding of redemptive love. To live by the standard of this love requires so much more than just emotions. It calls for radical commitment. It demands practicing new habits of relating, marked by repentance, humility, and patience. It calls for complete oneness in Him.
Sister, maybe your hurt is deeply personal. Christ’s heart aches at the brokenness, especially—within His Church. He desires to heal our collective wounds and fortify our combined weaknesses. His desire for us will always be unity.
When our loyalty to Christ precedes our loyalty to anything else, a common ground appears amongst us. Nothing can erase this indelible mark because we are called together by one Lord into one faith through one baptism.
We are the Church—a building built not by human hands, but held up by the beams of the Cross.
Here, He receives our weakness and our wavering gaze. Here, our hearts are softened and our voices lower. Here, we listen and learn to love. Here, we are made ‘one’ by His Spirit. Here, we are empowered to change the world. Are you by the Cross today?His desire for us will always be unity. // Michelle D'Silva Click To Tweet