I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. (John 17:9-11)
I love this chapter for many reasons, one of which is it feels as if Jesus is praying for me. At first, it may indicate a separateness between Christians (those whom You gave me) and "the world" (non-Christians). However, upon deeper reflection, it is clear that Jesus is praying for quite the opposite of exclusivity. For me, the world represents a microcosm within each human being, Christian or not, that blinds us to Truth, Love, and Compassion and separates us from Love Itself (God.) When I sit in unity with my brothers and sisters in Centering Prayer, I appreciate the beauty of being One in Christ and in discerning between my loving true self and my judgmental "worldly" ego, my false self. May we all be One and see the Divine Spirit in everyone we meet.
Lord, help me today to understand the true nature of your kingdom. May I discern when I am in my "world" of ego and when I am connected with my true self. Amen.
Enod Gray — Grateful, seeker, ordinary