A prayer for oneness


All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:10-11

Jesus is praying on behalf of the disciples. Knowing he will leave his people, amid the temptations and trials of the world, Jesus knelt in prayer for us. This beautifully shows Christ as our eternal intercessor. In all our plights and failures we know we can rely on Christ as our advocate in the Triune God.

But, to what end is Jesus interceding? It’s not to shield us from temptation. Or hardship. Or the trials of persecution and death. That’s not the focus of Jesus’ prayer. No, we will face hardship. And sometimes hardship will be brought down on us precisely for following Christ. But his intercession here isn’t to prevent that.

Rather, Jesus prays for us to remain in the faith of those disciples when he was with them. “And glory has come to me through them,” Jesus is saying, because they were willing to abandon all they had and follow him. They were willing to surrender the world, to surrender to each other, and follow The Way — to follow Christ — in the love of God and their neighbor. That is glory.

Jesus is praying that, in his absence, we will retain the strength of faith to continue living the way of “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.” Jesus prays for us to retain that relationship: to live as one with each other, and with God. He intercedes for us to live as one body — many parts, but inextricably one within and among each other — in the same manner of mystery found in the Trinity. We all are each other, and in each other we are the Body of Christ.

Almighty God, who created us all as one, to be one with each other and with you, help us today to overcome the perceived barriers of this world, to see ourselves and you in all we meet, that we all may be one as you are one. Amen.

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