Living The Gospel – May 29, 2022

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“That they may be one, as you and I are one.”
It is the night of the last supper. Jesus has shared a meal with his disciples, washed their feet, given them a new commandment to love as he loves, and told them of his leaving. Now he prays; He prays for them and for us. Three times he asks our Father that we would all become one as he and the Father are one.

We live in a world full of differences – male or female; rich or poor; black or white; young or old; educated or uneducated. Our world is also full of divisions – black lives matter vs. blue lives matter; conservative vs. liberal; gun rights vs. gun control; immigration vs. immigration ban. The list goes on and on.

Jesus does not pray for our differences to be eliminated. Instead, he prays for our oneness; that we would not be divided. Oneness is not about eliminating differences. It is about love. Love is the only thing that can ever overcome division.

• Love God.

• Love your neighbor.

• Love yourself.

• Love your enemy.

Our love for God, neighbor, self, and enemy reveals our oneness. In love, there may be differences but there is no division.

“That the world will believe you sent me.”
When people of faith come together to work for the good of others, they become a living example of Jesus still at work in the world. They “feed the hungry” “give drink to the thirsty“(our Ecumenical Food Pantry, Monthly Food Truck, Lisle Community Gardens, all of whose volunteers are from different faith denominations or walks of life). “clothe the naked”(our Ecumenical Clothing Bank); “welcome the stranger” (The American Civic Association in downtown Binghamton whose motto is “Building Bridges of understanding across Cultures.”) By fulfilling the Corporal Acts of Mercy, we respond to the prayer of Jesus by putting our divisions aside for the greater good and to demonstrate that Jesus was really sent by the Father into our dysfunctional world to serve it.

Sylvia Bates