Thursday of the Seventh Week of Lent
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Psalm 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; John 17:20-26
In today’s Gospel we hear the very last words of Jesus recorded by John before his passion begins in the Garden of Gethsemane. This high priestly prayer is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. And what does he pray for? What is foremost on Jesus’ mind before he enters into his suffering?
UNITY AND LOVE among his disciples. That we may all be one, just as the Father and the Son are one. It is through this unity Our Lord says we are brought to perfection. It is through our Christian unity that the world knows that we are children of the one true God! The Church’s unity is meant to be a prophetic witness to the unbelieving world, inviting them to believe in the truth revealed by Christ.
Today the Church is suffering from disunity. Suffering from 40,000 plus Christian denominations worldwide. Suffering from a still fresh sexual abuse crisis, and from various disagreements concerning authority, doctrine, and liturgy.
If I were on the outside looking in, this disunity among Christians would be a stumbling block for me in regards to joining the Church, as I believe it is for many people. Perhaps the lack of unity among the Christian faithful is one of the reasons why so many people have left the Church. Perhaps the lack of love and unity among Christians is a much larger obstacle to our efforts to evangelize than we might imagine.
So what can we do about this? Well, other than continuing to pray for unity, which is so greatly needed, there’s probably very little we can do in regards to the 40,000+ Christian denominations and the general state of the Church throughout the world. But maybe we can do a little better right where we are planted here at Holy Ghost. Maybe we can more intentionally practice charity toward all of the members of this wonderfully diverse parish.
One practical thing we can do is to make an effort to celebrate our Feast Day this weekend by attending the picnic on Saturday. Rather than socializing exclusively with family and friends, we could use this opportunity to spend some time with a community member or family we have yet to meet. This simple act could go a long ways toward increasing charity and unity here right here at home.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus made known the Father’s love to his disciples, and he continues to make it known to us through the Holy Spirit, whose sending we celebrate this Sunday. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the divine love with which the Father has loved the Son from all eternity becomes a living reality in all of us who have the gift of faith and nourish it regularly with the Eucharist. We are called to share this love unconditionally with those in our care and with all those we meet.
Dear friends, a genuine love of God and neighbor is our ticket to heaven. As we welcome the coming of the Holy Spirit into our world at Pentecost, may we be inspired to pray and work for love and unity among all Christians, Catholic and Protestant alike. This is Our Lord’s greatest desire for his disciples. Is this also our greatest desire?
Let us pray together: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
God bless you.