January 3

Reflection

As we move into the days of this new year, we look around us and see a nation increasingly rejecting the unity we proclaim. E pluribus unum it states on the great seal of the United States. Out of many one. It was a goal which we publicly espoused no matter how we may have failed to fully embrace it. It exemplified our best selves and it set a standard for growth. Unfortunately it has become tarnished and, as we enter a new year, it would be good to remind ourselves of what we can work to be.

Unity is not about blind adherence to political or religious opinions. It is not about feelings of group superiority. We are united when we live in harmony with other people. Unity helps us learn to respect differences and celebrate diversity. It is about affirming commonalities. Every decision is not set in the rock of ideology. Unity requires good judgment, flexibility and respect. Without these qualities, there is little hope for compassion, justice, or peace among us. Unity means working together for the common good within our nation and with those around the globe.

Prayer

That all may be one.

Action

What simple day to day actions will help you to build unity in your sphere of relationships and beyond?

Suggested Reading

God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and said “they shall be one in my hand…They will be my people and I shall be their God”.
Ezekiel 37:15-28

That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.
John 17:21

Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all.
Pope Francis

One of the main tasks of theology is to find words that do not divide but unite, that do not create conflict but unity, that do not hurt but heal.
Henri Nouwen

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.
Kofi Annan

We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national and local diversities that enrich our lives.
Mahnaz Afkhami

When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?
Frank Borman

Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.
Hans Urs von Balthasar

The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world
Democritus

Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God.
Sai Baba

You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced.
Jay Weatherill

We have a tendency to condemn people who are different from us, to define their sins as paramount and our own sinfulness as being insignificant.
Jimmy Carter

We believe that all is one and that our call is to an active inclusive love that seeks this union with God and the sacred community of life that includes all of creation.
Sisters of St. Joseph, Land Ethic Statement

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