Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"That they may be one" Saint John 17:11b-19.

Acts of the Apostles 20:28-38. 

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus: "Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.

Psalms 68(67):29-30.33-35a.35b-36c.

Show forth, O God, your power, 
the power, O God, with which you took our part; 
For your temple in Jerusalem 
let the kings bring you gifts. 

You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, 
chant praise to the Lord 
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens. 
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power: 
"Confess the power of God!" 

Over Israel is his majesty; 
Awesome is God in his holy place, the God of Israel, 
who gives power and strength to his people. 
Blessed be God! 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 17:11b-19. 

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth."

"That they may be one"

Brethren, who then is so profane and lacking in faith, who so insane by the fury of discord as either to believe that the unity of God, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Christ, can be torn asunder or to dare to do so? (Jn 19,24). He himself warns us in his Gospel, and teaches saying: “And there I shall be one flock and one shepherd” (Jn 10,16). And does anyone think that there can be either many shepherds or many flocks in one place? Likewise the Apostle Paul insinuating this same unity upon us beseeches and urges us in these words: “I beseech you, brethren,” he says, “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing; that there be no dissensions among you but that you be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same judgement” (1Cor 1,10). And again he says: “Bearing with one another in love, careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit, in the bond peace” (Eph 4,2-3).

Do you think that you can stand and live, withdrawing from the Church, and building for yourself other abodes and different dwellings?... When the sacrament of the Passover contains nothing else in the law of the Exodus than that the lamb, which is slain in the figure of Christ, be eaten in one house? God speaks, saying: “In one house it shall be eaten, you shall not carry the flesh outside the house” (Ex 12,46). The flesh of Christ and the holy of the Lord cannot be carried outside, and there is no other house for believers except the one Church. This house, this hospice of unanimity, the Holy Spirit designates and proclaims, when he says: “God who makes those of one mind to dwell in his house” (cf. Ps 86[87],7). In the house of God, in the Church of Christ, those of mind dwell; they persevere in peace and simplicity.

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