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“That They May be One”

“That They May be One”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 — Week of 2 Easter

William Law, Priest 1761; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Scientist and Military Chaplain, 1955

[Go to for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

(Book of Common Prayer, p. 958)

Psalms 119:1-24 (morning) // 12, 13, 14 (evening)

Daniel 2:17-30

1 John 2:12-17

John 17:20-26

Jesus prayed to the Father, “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.” (John 17:22-23)

Jesus and the mystics of many ages and religions assert something that some scientists are now discussing. We are all one.

Jesus speaks of the oneness of spirit that exists between him and the Father. God abides in him and he in the Father. Then Jesus draws his friends into that circle of union, “that they may become completely one.” (17:23) The mystics say the same thing. My neighbor is myself. We breathe the same air, share the same planet, live in the same spirit. Life is one thing.

Now some scientists are saying something similar. They point to the non-materiality of the entire universe; the interconnectedness of everything. Fields of relationship exist as probabilities until they are observed and they collapse into particularities. Creation is like a thought, some say. The universe is a connected, organic whole. All is one.

Today in our Holy Women, Holy Men calendar we remember Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a scientist and mystic. He looked at evolution as a process of movement toward greater complexity and consciousness toward the Omega Point, perfect unity with God. God is always pulling all of creation toward this ultimate and perfect union, he taught.

There is a tradition that says that the experience of separateness is illusion. Our ultimate blindness is our belief that we are separate beings with our own agenda and desires — our needs to control, be safe, and have esteem. Those are all false states of being; that is a false self, says this tradition. Our true state is that we have always been one. We have always lived in union with God. Our true self is hidden in God, and at that level we are also one with everyone and all that is.

These are mysteries beyond my knowing, except for the occasional glimpse into that deeper reality. There have been moments when “I” seemed to disappear into a fullness and wholeness. Those moments seem exquisite. They leave me with a residue of profound peace.

So I long for Jesus’ prayer to be realized. I suspect it is true always. But I live in an illusion of separation. It takes constant remembering to shatter that illusion and walk in the path that he has prayed for us: Being one. To remember that is literally to re-member, to bring back into union the members that had been separated. Remember who you are. The implications are stupendous.


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