In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks about unity. “That all
may be one as you, Father, are in me, and I in you: I pray that
they may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent
Jesus is asking for unity from His followers so that the Body
might be strong and whole and that the Body may give solid and
united witness to Christ Himself.
As Catholic/Christians we are called to give corporate witness
to Christ by our unity of belief, worship and prayer. The Body
cannot be divided if it is going to give true witness to Christ.
Therefore, as faithful members of the Church, we cannot choose
what teachings to believe and accept and ignore what we do not
In the 1st Reading, Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, dies
for his belief in the truth and his unity to Christ. There have
been hundreds of martyrs in the history of the Church that gave
their lives for the truth of faith and for unity in the Church.
Their witness worked to build up the Body of Christ - the Church
- and gave strength and courage to others who saw their unwavering
unity in Christ and His Church.
Today, even more so, our witness to unity is essential. We give
this witness through our loyalty to the Pope, our unity with the
teachings of the Church and its traditions, our unity in the Celebration
of the Sacraments, prayer and in the living of the Commandment
to love one another as Christ has loved us. This unity of faith
makes Christ more powerfully visible and builds up the Body of
Christ on earth.
Soon we will be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost and the first
coming of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Remember, it is this
gift of the Holy Spirit that is the unifying force that binds
us together as one in the Church.
My friends, today the world is in desperate need of the witness
that unity of faith provides. The world needs Christ and we are
commanded to be Christ to others by remaining one in Him and united
as one first in the Catholic Church and then to work for unity
with other Christian Churches with whom we are still separated.
All Christian Churches have a common goal but we need to be united
in our ideas, beliefs and teaching so that the Body of Christ
can be one.
The Eucharist we are celebrating is the greatest sign of our
communion and unity in Christ and the Church. St. Augustine says
that the Eucharist is our sign of unity and bond of our fraternity.
Let us pray today for unity in the Catholic Church and also for
unity between all Christian Churches so that Christ’s prayer
may become a successful reality: “...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.”