“…As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth. 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 (ἵνα πάντες ἓν ὦσιν). As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Jn 17: 18-21)
As our Lord prays to our common Father, He sheds light on what we mean when we profess our faith in “one” Church (Εἰς “μίαν,” ἁγίαν, καθολικὴν… Во “едину,” святую, соборную…). The Church is a mystery, a sacrament, the purpose of which is to make many, nay, “all” (πάντες), into “one,” as the Three in the Triune God are “One.” But how can a plural be singular? How can several, or many, and even “all,” be “one”? We as human beings are not even “one” within ourselves, being fragmented and conflicted as individuals, often a bundle of contradictions within our own selves.
The answer is, “we” can’t accomplish oneness, but God can. Because He “is” oneness, and offers us Himself, as the Way to restoring and healing our fragmentation, both within ourselves and between one another. But I’m reminded today that this restoration and healing, that is to say, “salvation,” is a life-long journey, as we are all “works in progress.” So let me not be discouraged today, by the plain fact that neither I, individually, nor we “all,” communally, reflect the perfect Oneness of the Triune God. I appeal to Him again this morning, and to His undying faith in us, saying “Our Father…,” as Christ said with us, that we may all be one, in Him.