Gospel Reflection on 7th of Easter: 29th May 2022

“That they may be one, as we are one.”

‘This beautiful prayer for union is from Jesus’ Last Supper address to his disciples. Here Jesus connects everything: he in his Father, the Father in you; you in God, God in him; God in the world, and you in the world. It’s all one. Jesus is praying that we could see things in their unity, in their connectedness. Oneness is less a goal toward which life is pressing, as it is a return to the truth in which we have always been held.’1 ‘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.’2 ‘All that is absent is awareness. Awareness opens our eyes to the reality of our oneness, and our openness to the Spirit allows this awareness to transform us. To be one with everyone and everything is to have overcome the fundamental illusion of our separateness.3

On Thursday, we celebrated the feast of the Ascension, a celebration of oneness. ‘In the story of Christ’s ascension as told in Acts, angels appear next to the disciples as they gaze after the rising figure. The angels ask, “Why are you standing here staring up into heaven?” Most of Christianity has been doing just that, straining to find the historical Jesus “up there.” Where did he go? We’ve been obsessed with the question because we think the universe is divided into separate levels—heaven and earth. But it is one universe and all within it is saturated with the presence of God. The whole point of the Incarnation and Risen Body is the revelation that the Christ is here—and always was! The Ascension is the revelation of the final reunion of what appeared to be separated for a while: earth and heaven, human and divine, matter and Spirit. Jesus didn’t go anywhere. He revealed himself as the universal omnipresent Body of Christ1 On this feast, Jesus asks us to be his witnesses. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the doing that we forget that simply taking time to be with our God is an important witness. This time helps us experience God beyond us, God among us, God within us.

‘Slowly we begin to see that both the one and the many are held together in the One—the Eternal Godhead. And as we come to know our self within this One, we also come to know our oneness with all that is held by the One.’3

[1] Richard Rohr [2] Thomas Merton [3] David Benner

Gospel John 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: ‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.