Easter 7th Week, Thursday, May 28

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 / John 17:20-26 
Jesus continues to pray: “May I live in them as you live in me.”

Christians are four things. First, they’re a body in which Christ lives. Paul writes, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2.20
Second, they’re a mind through which Christ thinks. Paul writes, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. ” Phiiippians 2:5 (Kjv)
Third, they’re a voice through which Christ speaks. Jesus said, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” Luke 10:16
Fourth, they’re a heart through which Christ loves. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
To what extent are we the body, mind, voice, and heart of Jesus?
Christ has no hands but ours, no feet but ours, no voice but ours, no heart but ours.
There are a few definitions of the concept of unity. Unity can be defined as a whole or totality combining all its parts into one. Or it can be defined as the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole. Seen from another angle, it is the absence of diversity and having an unvaried or uniform character.
But unity is always tested by diversity and by various other factors. More so when this unity is about people, as each seem to have his own opinion about things and hence keeping unity can be very challenging.
The 1st reading exposed the fragility of the unity of the Sanhedrin, and the crack lines were taken advantage of by Paul when he worked on the sympathies of the Pharisee section of the Sanhedrin.
What Paul did to the Sanhedrin which eventually broke their unity, others will also want to do to the Church.

What makes it more alarming is that these "others" may not just be outsiders but from within the ranks of the Church.

What Jesus prayed for in the gospel is that we will all be united as one. But the unity is not in some kind of structure or doctrine or practice.

The foundation of this unity is founded on the unity between Jesus and the Father - "Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you."

Unless we are united in and by the heart of Jesus, there will be threats to the unity of the Church and the crack lines will appear.

Let us pray that we, the Church, will be united as one, and may it begin with a unity of minds and hearts. May Jesus be the foundation of our unity as Church. May He be in us just as He is in the Father.

Penitential Rite
Jesus prays "I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one”. Beyond our lack of belief
Jesus prays, “as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” Beyond our lack of unity
Jesus prays, “And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me” beyond our lack of appreciation of others

Opening Prayer
Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and Father of all people,
we believe in you and we know that you loved Jesus
with a deep and trusting, lasting love. Let your Holy Spirit pour out this love into the hearts of all those who believe in Jesus, our Savior and Shepherd. Let this love unite us in one common bond of understanding and respect for one another and let that love dispose us to live for one another and to serve one another for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Galileo Galilei came to Rome upon a donkey. Veritas, his mount was named. Lies, the Inquisition claimed.
Stood the man on parquet flooring, just outside the beast was snoring. Earth is not a whirling mass, said the priests, don't be an ass.
Wakened, Truth commenced to braying, shook the windows with her neighing, drowning out the judge's call to recant, to gainsay all.
In the dock, he kept repeating what his tethered friend was beating on the stones with angry hooves: Nonetheless, my dears, it moves.

Bright Spirit of Truth, we often shrink from bringing your message to a world grown comfortable with lies. Strengthen our resolve to carry high your purifying light. In times of doubt, remind us that the messenger is cleansed by the message, the lamp-bearer ennobled by the flames.   Amen.

General Intercessions
–    Lord Jesus, that in the land where you walked the roads, Palestinians and Jews may come to respect one another and seek peace, we pray:
–    Lord Jesus, different as we are in our faces and characters, let the Holy Spirit bind us together in one love, we pray:
–    Lord Jesus, however difficult it is, let the Holy Spirit make our communities one heart and one soul, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, at his invitation, we gather at the table of your Son and we prepare ourselves to share in his meal. As he has united us as his brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit keep us united in the life of every day.  Let him bind us together in strong and dedicated communities, in which we accept one another, notwithstanding all our differences.
Unite us in the one love of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, the Psalmist rejoices when even our brothers and sisters can live together in one love. Let this be a reality among us who believe in our one Lord, Jesus Christ.
Let the deepest witnessing of our faith be that we live for one another in the same unity, that united your Son Jesus with you, our living and loving God, now and for ever.