Seventh Thursday of Eastertide – Acts 22,30;23,6-11; Ps 16; John 17,20-26

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. […] May they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.

Conflicts and disputes cause problems, and it is extremely difficult to achieve anything. Saint Paul showed what consequences this could have. It was enough for him to hit on a controversial point for two united groups to focus on themselves instead of the purpose for which they had gathered together. This isn’t what unity is about. That’s not its goal. The point is for the world to know God and His love for every person. The point is for them to believe. If we preach love only with words, we would hardly be believed.

It is not up to others to “merge into one.” This is what I am called to. And it applies especially to those with whom I disagree, who irritate me, who hurt me. I have to love them like you do. . .

For if you love those who love you, what special thing do you do? Do not even the pagans do this?