“Jesus prays so that we may be one. And the Church has so much need of this prayer of unity.”
These were the words said by Pope Francis during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on Jesus’ prayer for unity among his followers in St. John’s Gospel.
“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,” Jesus says.
The Pope noted that in his prayer, Christ not only prays for his disciples, but those who will follow after ‘through their word’.
“Maybe we are not that attentive to these words: Jesus has prayed for me!” he said. “This is precisely a source of trust: He prays for me, He prayed for me…I imagine – but it is an image – how Jesus is in front of the Father in Heaven. Like this: He prays for us, He prays for me. And what does the Father see? The wounds, the price. The price He paid for us. Jesus prays for me with his wounds; with his wounded heart He continues to do so.”
The Spirit of Division
However, Pope Francis lamented that the greatest challenge for Christians today is to not give way “to divisions among us.” This spirit of division, he said, allows “the father of lies to enter into us.”
“Always look for unity,” he stressed. “Each one is like they are, but always look to live in unity. Has Jesus forgiven you? He forgives everyone. Jesus prays so that we may be one […]. And the Church has so much need of this prayer of unity.”
This unity that Jesus prays for, the Jesuit Pope went on to say, is not some mere ‘glue’ that bonds people but “a grace of God”.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis reminded the faithful of another piece of advice given by Christ: to remain in Him.
“He asks for this grace, that we all remain in Him. And here He tells us why, He says it clearly: ‘Father […] I wish that where I am they also may be with me.’ That is, that these remain there, with me. To remain in Jesus, in this world, ends in remaining with Him, so ‘that they may see my glory.'”