Unity begins with us

Unity begins with us

 We begin this weekend the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, praying for the cause of unity of all Christians and all peoples of good will from many other religions working together for the good of all humanity.

As we reflect on Christian unity, we have to address our own respective sense of unity within our own church.  We cannot really speak about unity with other Christians when we don’t appreciate and exercise our own commitment to unity among ourselves as members of our respective communities.   In turn, we can only speak about such commitment to unity in our community when we live the unity and peace that should characterize our personal relationships with our loved ones in our respective families.

In the absence of this sense of unity, some people have decided to fashion a life of aloneness and loneliness to escape the hurtful experiences in community and companionship.  In a way, we have learned to avoid relationships in order or avoid being hurt.  We avoid reaching out.  We avoid getting involved in the activities and programs because we want to be left to ourselves.   But as Christians, we have to reach out.  Spreading the Good News is possible through our personal interaction with people.  Like the original apostles who were chosen by Christ in our gospel today, we are sent to proclaim the Good News of peace, love and unity to all peoples, starting with our own families and communities.

It is ironic that the major conflicts in our world today are related to religion.  Religion, which teaches that we have to love one another, has become the cause of division and violence.  Marriage and family, which most religions consider sacred, have become the venue for unspeakable physical, psychological and sexual abuse.  Churches, which act as the guardian of sexual ethics, have become in recent years the respondent for sexual abuse crimes.

Unity, based on mere human efforts, is an illusion.  Unity has to be referred to Someone beyond ourselves.  The transforming power of Christian love is what can make our life in community bearable and even beautiful.

As we come together for the Eucharist which is the sacrament of unity, let us be reminded that Christ’s love for all of us is the source of our unity and strength as God’s people.