Wednesday, May 31, 2017

“May We All Be One in God” by Beth DeCristofaro

Wishing to determine the truth about why Paul was being accused by the Jews, the commander freed him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene. Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them. … The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome."  (Acts 22:30, 23:11)

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: "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 17:20-21)

Jesus help us walk our pilgrim way to heaven,
May St. Justin be our guide.
 Grant us his strength of faith and wisdom
So we may remain united as one family,
 growing in love.
St. Justin Pray for us.
        (adapted from

Anna who could no longer speak but whose eyelids blinked to communicate asked for old hymns she remembered from her childhood.  She also slowly blinked with a letterboard “drive carefully” as I left.  Delores read with me, again and again, Matthew’s account of Jesus’ agony in the garden as she painfully and suffocatingly struggled with terminal COPD.  She felt that she should stay awake and keep company with her Savior who accepted anguish on her behalf.  Jim wanted to see his brother although estranged for many years.  He made the difficult phone call to ask forgiveness.  His brother was present before and stayed with him at his death.  Erma hoped that her mother and father, dead for more than 70 years, would recognize her – now a 90-plus-year-old woman – when she arrived in heaven. (Names are fictional)

" that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you."  

So many people have led me, taught me, showed me, blessed me that our God desires us all to be one in God.  Justin Martyr, a layman from Samaria, was a brilliant philosopher and a seeker of truth.  It was taking the leap of faith which led him to become the teacher, the guide, the fearless apologist for Christ.  His perspective, using philosophy to illuminate the Gospel displays how God imbues unity even to extremely exclusive schools of thought. 

Witnesses to Paul’s appearance at court might have concluded that the entire event was a fiasco.  But God’s presence was powerful as Paul stood strong in Jesus as Jesus was in the Father.  Justin Martyr taught with commanding authority, his faith uniting him with Jesus and Father.  The suffering individuals were bound eternally to the Father and Son by faith, by human kindness, by hope deeply rooted in God’s loving presence on earth in Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.   How will I bear witness today so that the world may see that I, we, you, are in Jesus as Jesus is in the Father? 

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