Wednesday's Gospel: That We May be One

Gospel for Wednesday in the 7th Week of Easter, and commentary.

Gospel (Jn 17:11-19)

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”


Today we hear the continuation of yesterday’s Gospel passage: the sublime moment of Jesus’ priestly prayer, when He opens wide his Heart and reveals the deep union between Himself and his Father. And the revelation goes even further: the Blessed Trinity wants to summon all of us without exception to share in that same love. Our Lord’s words are striking: “that they may be one, even as we are one.” The unity, the charity among the apostles, must be a reflection of Trinitarian love.

Tomorrow we will read the continuation of this passage, where we find a key to today’s selection: “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:21). Unity among the apostles is a condition for the world to come to believe in Christ. And it is not only a matter of external credibility or making the message more credible. Christ came to give his life “for the children of God who are scattered abroad” (Jn 11:52). That is, our Lord shed his blood to bring us together, to unite us, so that there would be no more divisions.

That is why the love between parents and children, husband and wife, brothers and sisters, colleagues, friends is so important. Our Lord asks us to live charity with everyone, because it is the savory fruit of his Cross. Looking down on a brother, letting ourselves be carried away by pride in human relationships, is equivalent to letting what Christ has won for us be lost. As the author of today’s Gospel passage says so forcefully in another place: “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:20).

This doesn’t mean that we have to have the same degree of sympathy for everyone. Rather it means that our Lord expects us to allow Him to illuminate each of our relationships and ties. That was Saint Josemaría’s experience: “for Christians, loving means ‘wanting to love,’ making up one's mind in Christ to work for the good of souls, without discrimination of any kind” (Friends of God, 231). Therefore, “if you love our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart” (The Way of the Cross, Eighth Station).

Luis Miguel Bravo Álvarez