John 17:11 No unity with God without unity with our neighbor

 

"Holy Father, keep in Thy name those whom Thou hast given me, in order that they may be one, even as We." John 17:11

 

The reality of the Trinity, in which the persons of God live in perfect oneness, is not a dry, dogmatic fact. Here Christ ***defines salvation***; It is to be one with each other and God, even as God is one with Himself. 

 

This should put loving our neighbor, and being peacemakers, not judging etc – anything that promotes unity with our neighbor – in an important perspective

 

There is a profound external difference between the unity of God with Himself and our unity with our neighbor, but it is unimportant. God is in perfect unity with Himself; each person gives and receives love exactly identically. It is not like this in human relations, even among those who love each other, because of our lamentable and individually variable tendency to pride, vanity, and self-centeredness. 

 

God loves the good and the evil equally, and herein is the key to perfect unity with Him. 

 

Let us keep in mind that the Golden rule[1] is to act towards our neighbor as we would *want* to be treated, not *AS* we are treated! 

 

Every interaction with our neighbor leads us into deeper unity with God (the only purpose of our life!) or estranges us from Him. This is a stark reality that we rarely acknowledge, but those who are holy know well. May God heal us of our preoccupation with ourselves and help us to love our brother, having only one expectation: to be one with God, even as He is. 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2103     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

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[1] Matthew 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Luke 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.