In John 17, Christ prays four times that His followers would be unified. In verse 11 He prays, "that they may be one, even as We are." In verse 21 He prays, "that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee". In verse 22 He prays, "that they may be one, just as We are one". And in verse 23 He prays, "that they may be perfected in unity".
In order to achieve the goal of the reunion of all Christians, we must first be aware that Christ deeply desires that all of His followers be one. Many Christians seem to live as though the present divisions between Christians are wholly acceptable. But the intention of Christ's heart revealed in His high priestly prayer in John 17 entails that while such divisions remain, every Christian should be always and actively seeking the reunion of all Christians. This requires us all to be pursuing dialogue with Christians outside our own faith traditions, mutually determining the fundamental causes of that which presently prevents our being fully united, and resolving these fundamental disagreements, until we are all one, as Christ and the Father are one.
In future posts I will be discussing the nature of this perfect unity that Christ wants all believers to have with each other.
"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)