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May 17: Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading Acts 22:30;23:6-11
Gospel John 17:20-26

“…so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in Me and I in You.”

There are many types of unity. For example, if two persons agree about a political issue, and join a common party, these two persons have political unity. If two persons agree about a moral teaching, or agree to act in common on behalf of a moral goal, these two persons have moral unity. If two students study for doctorates in physics, specializing in the same topic, and become the two foremost experts in the world about that topic, these two persons bear a certain intellectual unity.

Two persons can also be united by far less significant matters: their nationality, the clothes they wear, or the physical space they share (whether in an elevator, a house, or a courtroom). Two siblings are united by their parentage, and identical twins enjoy an even more specific genetic unity. Beyond physicals traits, siblings—or a parent and child—can be united by psychological traits, temperament, or even predispositions towards certain virtues and vices.

None of these is what Jesus is preaching about in John 17:21. Jesus is preaching about something far more profound.

The tiny word “as” in Jesus’ petition to the Father unlocks the petition’s meaning: “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in Me and I in You.” Reflect, meditate, and contemplate the meaning of the Unity that the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity not merely have or share, but essentially are.