“I pray not only for these.” 

 
May your Spirit, O Lord, we pray,
imbue us powerfully with spiritual gifts,
that he may give us a mind pleasing to you
and graciously conform us to your will.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Reading

 

Daily Meditation: 

I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me. - John 17

Now we meditate on Jesus' prayer for us. 
It remains his prayer for us today: "That they may all be one."
He wants the world to believe in Jesus as sent by the Father, 
because the world is moved by our unity.
We can pray to live that prayer and to desire it more and more.

We ask today that the Spirit will
"imbue us powerfully with spiritual gifts"
so that our minds will be transformed and conform us to God's will for us.

Each of us can pray for the ways we need the spiritual gifts
which only the Spirit can offer us,
and for the grace to open our hearts to receive them.

I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them. - John 17

 

Intercessions: 

Blessed be Christ the Lord: 
through him we all have access to the Father in the Holy Spirit. 
Now let us pray:

Christ, hear us

Send your Spirit, the longed-for guest of our hearts,
- and grant that we may never offend him.

You rose from the dead and are seated at the right hand of God,
- make intercession for us always with the Father.

Through your Spirit unite us with yourself.
- So that trial or persecution or danger may never separate us from your love.

May we welcome each other,
- in the way you have welcomed us, to the glory of God. 

 

Closing Prayer: 

My loving God,
you give me courage and ask me to 
bear witness to you with my life. 
I can face this world, knowing that you are my hope.

Even when fear steals into my heart,
you are there in the night to hold me close
and restore my hope.
Jesus said it so often: "I am in you and you are in me.
May they be one."

Teach me to bring unity to the world
and to welcome others into my heart 
as you have welcomed me into yours. 
I want only to open my heart to the gifts of your Spirit.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

 
 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Jesus gave us basically only two prayers.  (Recall: “prayer” in the New Testament almost always means petition.)  The first is the “Our Father”, which tells us what we should ask God for (“establish your  kingdom now”), and the second is Jesus’ own prayer to His Father, which is the subject of today’s Gospel and which tells us pretty clearly what Jesus himself wants for His people.   He wants unity – unity between the branches of the Christian church, unity within the branches of the churches, unity within parishes, unity within families.  Jesus wants us to be one, as He and the Father are one.   Such unity, so hard for us to achieve, is a principal sign of God’s presence.  It is, in fact, the one feature of the Christian church that will be sufficiently attractive  to  outsiders that it will draw them in.  By contrast, division and discord drive people away.  Division and discord surely do not manifest Christ’s presence.

Remember:  unity does not mean uniformity.   We can and should differ.  None of us is wise enough or knowledgeable enough to have the whole truth.  Differences allow us go get a more complete grasp on the complexities of life and church.   Unity means we respect one another’s understanding, views, and priorities.

It’s hard to attach too much importance to this mark of the divine.  The division of the Christian churches – to take only the largest manifestation of our “not-oneness” – is a literal scandal.  Though individually we didn’t create it, still we tolerate  it and thereby are responsible for its continued presence.  It is, in a sense, like racial prejudice or any of the other “–isms” that divide us.  It’s everyone’s job to stop it.

For starters we have to get out of the “us-and-them” mentality, particularly the “we’re right and they’re wrong” mindset.  We have to seek ways of working together across confessional lines.  We need to take every opportunity to worship together.   Within the larger Christian community we’re all brothers and sisters, of Jesus and of one another.  That’s because we’ve all been baptized, and by our baptisms we are missioned – commissioned – to be Christ for our world – “them” as well as “us”.  That means not just following a set of rules (the Pharisees did that), but literally working to save our world which, at the creation, God had found good.  “Saving” our world means not just conservation of the planet but application of systems of government and economics that are inclusive and promote the common good.  And in this effort we have to recognize that, ultimately, doing this is God’s work, not ours.  We can’t do it by ourselves.  But we can block it.  Now there’s a frightening thought.

As a perhaps surprising manifestation of the divine unity, It’s  helpful to realize that the two prayers of Jesus (ours and His) blend into one (and their petitions answered), for when at last we are truly one, then God’s kingdom, God’s rule, will have been established in our world.

by Robert Heaney
Creighton University's John A. Chair
click here for photo and information about the writer


Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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