Thursday of the 7th week of Easter year A

Theme: Unity is strength

In both the 1st reading and the gospel of today, we see the importance and emphasis on unity. The assertion in Kiswahili which says, “Umoja ni nguvu” is very true (It means unity is Strength). In the 1st reading of today, both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were united and ready to stand in judgment against St. Paul. But the moment Paul came up with the reasoning why he was being punished, the two groups became divided, and they could no longer carry out their plan against Paul. They had to rescue Paul from their midst, because they were divided against themselves unlike when they were united. We also see the importance of unity when Jesus said that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, we can understand the rationale behind the prayer of Jesus in today’s gospel reading, when he prays for the unity of the followers of Christ. Our liturgy today encourages us in a very special way to always work for peace and unity wherever we find ourselves. When there is unity, there is always the possibility for growth and development. But the opposite is the case when there is disunity and hatred, growth and development is slow and almost impossible in some cases.

Dear friends in Christ, if for nothing, let us do all within our power to always contribute to promoting peace and unity wherever we find ourselves. This is also a way of witnessing for Christ, taking into consideration the prayer of Jesus in the gospel reading of today. This consciousness should keep us away from everything that does not promote peace and unity wherever we find ourselves. We are all encouraged today to always make an honest and sincere effort to always work for the things that promote the collective good of all and stay away from the things that will promote hatred and bitterness and give rise to disunity within any group that we find ourselves, whether in the church or outside the church.

Dearly beloved in Christ, as followers of Christ, let us continue to do our best to make the prayer of Jesus in the gospel reading of today, bear good fruits in our lives, families and in the world at large. May the Lord bless his words in our hearts in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Thursday of the 7th week of Easter year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp