Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
At times, people see our diversity as adversity. I heard it said recently that the U.S. is more divided now as a Country than ever in its entire history. That kind of talk is fed by ignorance. Were not the Founding Fathers of the U.S. significantly-divided? Did not the divisions in the U.S. run so deep that they would foster a brutal Civil War? Do people forget the riots and protests surrounding the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War? By focusing on our differences in life, we can then perpetuate those differences to catastrophic levels. God calls us to focus on our Common Ground – and that Common Denominator is God Himself manifested in the humanity of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what race, creed, gender, political party, etc. that we come from. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or Protestant. It’s the Common Ground in Christ that matters the most. Through loving eyes, Jesus encourages us to see each other through the lenses of love that He has for each and every one of us. If we focus more on our Common Cores (the Roots of our Beings, if you will), then we can more readily admire the differences, as well (the individual leaves and branches of the Tree). And, that is where the Spiritual Growth can Truly flourish.