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Sunday, May 20, 2012


"Father, keep them in your name that you have give me, so that they may be one just as we are one." Jn 17:12

Many years ago, after a visit to Japan for what seemed like a very long month, I was anxious to return home to the United States and the cultural world within which I was raised. On my trip, traveling through Tokyo, which is a very diverse and and sophisticated city, I searched for a McDonald's, ordered a big Mac and sat on the curb to eat it. Every Japanese who passed me smiled. Whether they understood my loneliness or were amused by my straightforward behavior, I didn't know, nor did I care. I needed a break from what felt like a barrage of cultural differences, and Jesus' prayer that we be one was the furthest thing from my mind.

Unity with other believers as a sign of God's presence and love between and among us is a very tall order, especially when living in a multicultural world. So many things separate us. Race, gender, family values, language, politics and so much more. We have only to pick one of these areas to work on with others with whom we differ to realize how challenging Jesus' wish for us is.

Nevertheless, unity within the Catholic church and among churches all over the world is Jesus' prayer and we cannot ignore it. Learning to let go of aspects of our culture and tradition that only separate us and do nothing for justice in the world  is an essential goal for believers.

Today, pick one area of your life that separates you from others and work on it.

What most motivates you to break down unnecessary disunity in your life?

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