Reflection on 7th Sunday of Easter: 24th May 2020

Oneness

“May they be one in us.”

Groups of various sizes can experience different levels of oneness linked with a variety of common interests: religion, sport, creativity, nature. Has there ever been such a global experience of oneness which COVID-19 has thrust on us? Those moments when we sense that we are at one with the joys and sorrows of others are “sacramental glimpses. They touch eternity.” [1] They remind us that “we are already one with everything. All that is absent is awareness. Awareness allows us to know this reality, and our openness to the Spirit within us allows this awareness to become transformational. To be one with everything is to have overcome the fundamental illusion of our separateness.” [2] “I’ve often said that great love and great suffering are the universal, always available paths of transformation because they are the only things strong enough to take away the ego’s protections and pretensions. Great love and great suffering bring us back to God” [3]

All over the world images of the rainbow remind us that there is hope and light to follow these days of chaos. The rainbow also reminds us of our oneness. “Everything is a facet of the one thing. Think in terms of white light shining through a prism to reveal the full spectrum of colour seen by the human eye: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each of these colours is part of the original whole and cannot be separated from it. Turn off the light source and the colours disappear. Now apply this metaphor to the world around and within you. Everything you see, think, feel, and imagine is part of and never apart from the same Source. We call this Source by such names as God, Reality, Brahman, Allah, One, Krishna, the Absolute and the Nondual. The list of names is long; the reality to which they all point is the same.” [4]

“We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” [5] “A heart transformed by this realisation of oneness knows that only love ‘in here,’ in me, can spot and enjoy love ‘out there.’ [3] This is eternal life, experienced here, now.

Adapted : [1] Daniel O’Leary [2] David Benner [3] Richard Rohr [4] Rabbi Rami Shapiro [5] Thomas Merton

Gospel, John 17:1-11

After saying this, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you; so that, just as you have given him power over all humanity, he may give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him. And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now, Father, glorify me with that glory I had with you before ever the world existed.

I have revealed your name to those whom you took from the world to give me. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
Now at last they have recognised that all you have given me comes from you
for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have indeed accepted it and know for certain that I came from you, and have believed that it was you who sent me.

It is for them that I pray. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us.