Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
John 17:1-11; 1 Peter 4:12-19 & 5:6-11; Acts 1:12-26
“Unity”. I have to confess it’s one of those words I have trouble not saying with a sarcastic tone and maybe an eyeroll to go along with it. Our society has grown very cynical about the prospect of people coming to agreement on any cause at all. The frequent calls for us to all to “just get along” are often (and accurately) seen as a veiled wish that everybody would just come around to my way of thinking about an issue.
But there is no hint of sarcasm or naivete in what Christ asks from his Father “that they [believers] may be one even as we are one” (Jn 17). The prospects for unity are dim when we try to do it on our own strength. But the Church’s unity comes from God. It’s something we should ask Him for, and He will give it. He holds us together daily with His gifts of Word and the Sacraments by which we receive the Holy Spirit.
That unity we hear Jesus praying for in the Gospel is what we see manifested in the First Reading. God repairs the broken circle of apostolic ministry by appointing Matthias. God’s mission to the world will not be derailed (Acts 1)! In the Epistle Reading, Peter reminds us that the first step in dealing with life’s difficulties is to “cast all our anxieties” upon the Lord and trust in His care (1 Pet 5).