Our Oneness in the One | Word from the Shepherd No. 177
7th Sunday Easter | Year C
Acts 7:55-60; Apoc.22:12-20; John 17:20-26
In the veins of all Africans is the spirit of ‘ubuntu’, a “belief lived”, said Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
An African says.
*’I am because we are’ or a person is a person through other people; we owe our self-hood to others; it is about our interconnectedness;
It is about sharing our oneness: sharing of willing participation, unquestioning cooperation, warmth, openness and personal dignity.
(Is this the sign of the Spirit of God at work?)
The skeptics believe that it is a ploy to establish a one-world government; that it is mind control; or it is an oppressive system.
Thich Nhat Nanh, a Vietnamese monk and peace activist remarked, “People normally cut reality into compartments, and are so unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena… to see one in all and all in one…”
There are many levels and many layers of oneness; and it is based on the understanding of a Greater Reality.
- The scriptures speak about this greater Reality, as a Living Spirit, both transcendent and immanent, who holds all things together. This Spirit of love and mercy forgives, heals, reconciles and restores a broken world of scattered people.
- The scriptures remind us of the original divinely given common bond (that was there since the beginning), which was disrupted by sin, self-ism and individualism. The return to the original oneness, the re-instating of the lost order and harmony, was the content of Jesus’ priestly prayer in John’s Gospel. Jesus prayed
a) that they all be one,
b) that they be one in us,
c) that they be one as we are one, and
d) that they may be so completely one as the Father and Jesus were.
- The early Acts community attribute the emerging oneness to the work of the Spirit, who moved people to yield and forgive which are prerequisites to communion and community building.
- The Apocalypse reveals that this oneness as a renewed relationship, a coming to the ‘water of life’; coming to the living presence of the Father, Son and the Spirit. It is an invitation of the Spirit.
- The Our Father, the Trinitarian Godhead and the latest, the Laudato Si and many other documents, remind us of our oneness to God, to one another and to all of creation. The oneness we share, is reflected in our interconnectedness, interrelatedness, the interdependence or communion.
To want this oneness:
- There must be a wanting, a thirsting, a yielding, a conversion and a reconciliation.
- There must be forgiveness. A yielding to the Holy Spirit, who leads us through 4 phases: personal, communitarian, ecclesial and ecological conversions.
- There must be a “coming to know” God.
- Then the spirit of ’ubuntu’ or communion or oneness begins to stir within us. (we sense our connectedness to others, our common humanity; and our common dignity).
- Richard Rohr calls this, the voice of God, the grace of God, that comes towards us, passes through us and to others.
We recognise the voice of God or the Spirit at work when we hear it supporting us, encouraging us, urging us, alive in us, non-violent, softening us or inviting us to a bigger and unified field. The Spirit or the flow does not shame nor accuse nor blame. The Spirit unites and unifies. Recognise God at work. Know God and you know the flow and you see God recreating.
Our Oneness In The One!