“That All May Be One”
Most of us are probably familiar with this Bible passage. Wikipedia also recognizes it as “the phrase (that) forms the basis of several ecumenical movements.” These words are often used as mottos for schools, churches, and religious societies; some of the more recognizable organizations being the World Student Christian Federation and the Francian Graymoor Friars, recognized for the promotion of Ecumenism. The United Church of Christ made a single word alteration with the adaptation “That they may all be one.” Pope John Paul opted to say it in Latin, in his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint. That All May Be One is a thematically popular Sunday church sermon.
So how does this verse personally apply to us?
As Ecumenical Pilgrims, it is more than a motto; a slogan, or a mantra. These words would be best held as a summons. A directive from the Lord.
That we are a naturally diverse group is without question. Different, mentally, and physically. Representing multiple “states,” to be sure. Geographically diverse. Married and Single. Young, not so young. Athletic types and wanta-be’s. Sizes and shapes to be made manifest shortly.
Spiritual diversity exists as well. Church backgrounds, religious traditions, Christian education, and faith development, all unique.
But not to worry, as there is joyous good news in all of this. Quoting Pope Francis, “What Unites us is already more than what divides us.”
Then there’s the GREAT news. The SIGNIFICANT commonality.
The remarkable realization is that we are all cut from the same cloth, created by the same Maker….and here is the real kicker…. we are all loved the exact same amount!
Wow! A bit of Divine equalizing going on. The playing field IS level.
However, this Unity thing is not something we can do on our own. It is God’s intended gift for and to us. One that we can only obtain through common prayer. Through common witness. And the gift of the Holy Spirit. Turns out John’s Gospel, (ALL of Ch 17,) helps us to understand the mystery of the Trinity; the profound unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit walks with us, and professes this profound unity that exists between the Father and the Son. It is this Divine Love that is professed and shared EQUALLY with each of us. We have been given this Divine gift as an example on how to love each other, as God loves us. The awareness “That All May Be One.”
Our Spiritual Pilgrimage has already begun. As adopted children of the same Father, we should pray as we’ve been taught. Together.
Our Father, Thy will be done.
2017 NM Pilgrimage For Unity