Saturday in the fifth week of Lent
There is a contrast in definition of the same term in the readings for today. In the first reading, "one nation" is presented in terms of God who calls back his people to himself. But in the second reading, the Caiaphas declared, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” What the difference between the two? What does "one nation" mean?
First, unity is deeply rooted in unity with God and everything he stands for.
This God is not a god of exclusivism but inclusivism. He abhors, those who separate themselves from the world to proclaim their own superiority. God is a God of the whole humankind; we are "one family" in God. Remember the definition of heaven? It means "union with God." We have to be united with God at all cost.
Second, "one nation" implies love for one another. Love is the key to loving one another. Those who love their own kind and deny the existence of others are living selfish lives. That is not God's will.
Third, unity is attained through the offering of one's life for the sake of others. Jesus' offering on the cross is a concrete manifestation of freedom from the shackles of all sin and sinful inclinations. This total self-giving is the ultimate root of unity. Those who are united in sin leads others to separation from others and the Lord. But those who offer their lives are the source of true unity for many.
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