A tall order, without a doubt, when Jesus prays that, “they may become completely one.” The they of course is us. The they is all followers of Jesus Christ. A tall order and one that seems impossible to fill, given how different and cantankerous we all can be.
There are a number of ways to think about being completely one. First, it could simply be that one side eventually wins and everyone else, perhaps even grudgingly, goes along. Secondly, a hard fought negotiation happens and all sides say they can live with the results. A third ways is to think of this idea of being “completely one” as a commandment of God and we had better step in line.
But when it comes to what Jesus says in our Gospel today that, “…they may become completely one…” (John 17), it is not a win, a negotiation or a commandment. It is a prayer. And as a prayer it is far richer and more meaningful for us as a people who are intent on doing God’s will and going where God calls.
And the prayer Jesus prays doesn’t seem to be about calling on us all to be singing from the same hymn book or using the right gestures. It doesn’t seem to be about us doing or thinking alike, it is far more foundational. In the same prayer Jesus also says, “so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” It is love that unites us. It is love that makes us one. It is love that makes us completely one with God, and with Jesus. Let us love!