Commented Bible Passages

These Bible meditations are meant as a way of seeking God in silence and prayer in the midst of our daily life. During the course of a day, take a moment to read the Bible passage with the short commentary and to reflect on the questions which follow. Afterwards, a small group of 3 to 10 people can meet to share what they have discovered and perhaps for a time of prayer.

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John 17:20-26 Walking together with others
Jesus prayed: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

This text is part of Jesus’ prayer. Here we find that prayer is not just a matter of “talking and asking God for something”, but rather a matter of “relationship and intimacy with God”. Jesus says, “You, Father, are in me and I am in you”. However, unlike the common impression of intimacy that tends to “exclude” the others, the intimacy of Jesus and the Father “embraces” everyone. He says: “You in me and I in you, that they also may be in us”. Thus, prayer is not a relationship solely between “me and God”, but rather a relationship between “me, God, and the other”. The image of prayer is not like “a vertical line”, but rather “a triangle”.

Brother Alois has written: “Inner life is not an isolated aspiration; it continues in a common undertaking with those who share the same search.” Indeed, prayer leads us to “break isolation and enter into relationship with others”. Dorotheus of Gaza, a Christian who lived in Palestine in the early 6th century, described it well: “Imagine that the world is a circle, that God is the center, and that the radii are the different ways human beings live. When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle, they come closer to one another at the same time as to God. The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another. And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.”

In the times where “diversity” and “pluralism” are terms that are important to many people, the invitation to live in unity may seem irrelevant and unpopular. Shouldn’t we respect all the differences between people? Indeed, differences must be respected, but what about living together? Living in parallel paths that never meet can be a pretext for living in division and separation!

Therefore, let us stop seeing differences as problems that must be solved. Instead, let us learn to see differences as a gift that must be received with gratitude: a beautiful gift that at the same time challenges us to be humble and creative. I, You, and They - we are all different. But faith invites us to live in unity and solidarity, “You in me and I in you, that they also may be in us”.

We do not walk alone. We walk together!

- How can we deal with the differences that exist in this life? What are the challenges? Do you have suggestions for dealing with them creatively?
- “Unity in Diversity”. What would you say about this expression? Can you provide some examples?

Other bible meditations:

Last updated: 1 April 2024