Psalm 30, 32 or 42, 43
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe through their word that they may all be one.” John 17:20
I don’t know how many of you have ever been present at another parish on a Sunday when St. John’s is prayed for in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer. I was blessed with this experience years ago when worshiping at All Souls on a summer visit. A chill swept over me when I realized that 90+ churches and hundreds of strangers were holding my beloved parish in prayer. It drove home for me the importance of the solidarity of a faithful community whose prayerful demonstration of love and concern extended beyond our parish walls.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ intercessions extend beyond the disciples who are with him to include future disciples. He also prays that they may all be one as Jesus and the Father are one. This unity enables the world to believe that Jesus is indeed sent by God and that God loves us as He loves Jesus.
Lent reinforces this message that Jesus is sent by God, returns to God, and remains united with God. We too are united in Christ through the knowledge and love of God. Through this mystical union, our bond to Christ is the bond to one another in the community of the faithful. Out of this unity, God’s glory and grace shine through.
May God’s grace bind us together this Lenten season, as we love, serve and pray for one another in our witness to Christ in the world.
– Martha Jenkins