Saturday 9 May 2020

Fourth Week of Easter

Word for Today
The Gospel of John 14:7-14


It is not force that generates unity, but it is unity that generates force. Being strong does not make people united, but being united makes people strong. Unity is the vital system that generates and develops all forms of energy.
Jesus reminds us (Luke 11:18) that if he wants to achieve his deadly objectives, even Satan, the divider, the separator must reject separation and disunity in himself and in his ranks within his destructive system. A twig can provide a certain resistance to traction and to bending, but a bundle of twigs provides a far greater resistance. Every single ant certainly plays its role in the ecosystem of the forest, but a colony of ten million ants certainly plays another. An ant, separated from the unitary system of its colony, does not have the same force as when it is united with the whole system. A finger is strong when joined to the hand and in harmony with the whole movement of the arm and body, otherwise it has no strength.
Jesus teaches us to conceive of prayer in a completely new and original way with respect to common religious practice. The mental attitude that conceives prayer as the attempt to reconcile human needs with divine will and omnipotence - almost as if it were an action to appease a sovereign, superior will, -  indicates a profound ignorance about the force involved in prayer. It is an attitude that manifests a deep separation of the heart and the spirit from God, characterized by an insurmountable structural division of purpose and perspective. When Jesus tells us to to ask the Father and to pray to the Father in His name, He makes no mention to the interlocutors of prayer itself, but the movement of the supreme energies at work in prayer when praying is carried out in a state of spiritual unity.
Praying creates unity with God and with the people one is praying with, and it is the unity with God and with the people one is praying with that absolutely determines the strength, the power, the omnipotence of one's prayer. Jesus knows like no one else that prayer is turned away and cancelled by any form of inner or relational separation or division. That is why being united in one's heart with one's brothers is the first condition, the very foundation of prayer (Matthew 23.24). Prayer is unity in its very essence, in its highest form and expression; it is unity in its very objective. Nothing can make prayer powerful and effective as can unity (Matthew 18:20) and at the same time, nothing like praying leads to unity.
Asking and praying God in the name of Jesus does not mean using the name of Jesus to reach God: in this perspective there is still separation, distance. Rather, it means to be intimately, totally and completely united to Jesus who is inseparably united to the Father and to the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. It means totally surrendering to the sound, to the grace, to the gentleness, to the kindness, and to the provident omnipotence of His name. Asking and praying out of love and in the tender and passionate love of Jesus' name creates a state of inner union with God's heart that makes prayer powerful, effective, capable of everything.
Neither humanity nor the Church can compose a simpler, more profound, astonishing, powerful, concise, effective, uniting, enlightening, soothing, calming and healing prayer than the doxology for Christ, with Christ, in Christ. Humanity could undergo an unimaginable social, scientific, cultural, spiritual, political evolution if it began lovingly,  totally surrendering itself, and all together, to fill hearts and minds, praises and actions with this simple, unattainable prayer, the only true source for unity: for Christ, with Christ, in Christ.