By Elizabeth Westhoff

Unity in Him - Wine Wednesday

 

I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” ~ John 17:26

 

John 17:20-26 is a powerful passage where Jesus prays for unity among believers. He expresses his desire that all who believe in him may be one, just as he and the Father are one. This unity is not only for the disciples who were with him then but for all who would come to believe in him through their message. Jesus emphasizes that this unity would testify to the world of God’s love and the truth of Jesus’ mission.

Call to Unity

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a 17th-century Capuchin friar and martyr, lived out this call to unity in a profound way. He was dedicated to preaching the Gospel and reconciling those who had strayed from the Faith. St. Fidelis worked tirelessly to bring about unity within the Church and to defend it against the challenges of his time, particularly the spread of Protestantism.

In reflecting on John 17:20-26 in relation to St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, we see how his life exemplified the unity that Jesus prayed for. St. Fidelis sought to unite people in Faith, bridging divides and promoting reconciliation. He recognized that true unity is found in Christ and worked to spread this message through his preaching and example.

Shared Commitment

St. Fidelis also understood the importance of standing firm in the truth while remaining charitable towards those who held differing beliefs. Like Jesus, he sought to love even those who opposed him, recognizing that unity does not mean uniformity but rather a shared commitment to the person of Christ.

In his martyrdom, St. Fidelis bore witness to the unity for which Jesus prayed. His willingness to lay down his life for the sake of the Gospel stands as a powerful testament to the truth of Jesus’ message and the transformative power of unity in Christ.

Dedication to Unity

In essence, the life of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen serves as a tangible example of the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-26. Through his dedication to unity in Christ and his willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel, St. Fidelis embodies the spirit of Jesus’ prayer and inspires us to strive for unity within the Church and among all believers.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, We come before you with hearts united in faith, heeding your prayer for unity among believers. As you prayed for us to be one, we invoke the intercession of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, who tirelessly worked for the unity of your Church. Grant us, through his example and prayers, the grace to overcome divisions and differences, to embrace one another in love, and to bear witness to the world of the unity found in you. May St. Fidelis’ courage and commitment inspire us to live out your call to unity, even in the face of adversity, so that all may come to know the truth of your Gospel and experience the fullness of your love. We ask this in your holy name, Amen.

Call to Action:

Commit to praying for the conversion of all non-believers as well as our brethren who are separated from us in the Faith. Pray for the strength to be a white martyr, if need be, to bring the truth of the Faith to others.

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