"Make every effort to preserve the unity."
From prison, Paul pleaded with his Christian brothers and sisters to "livea life worthy" of their calling (Eph 4:1). This meant being humble, meek, long-suffering, and lovingly forbearing (Eph 4:2). This radically different way of life was necessary to preserve and deepen the early Church's unity in the Spirit (Eph 4:3). One very high priority was unity in the body, and the Spirit, and in hope, unity in the Lord, faith, and baptism, and in the God and Father of all (Eph 4:4-6). This sevenfold unity is still necessary for our lives to be worthy of our calling by the Lord.
Jesus is continuing to pray that we be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). Despite centuries of disunity among the various Christian denominations, despite millions of divorces, despite an almost total disregard for a practical living out of our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood, despite the utter divisiveness and disunity of sin, the Lord will never change (see Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8). He wants us in unity with Him and with each other. We must be united even if we have to die for it, because He already has died for it (Jn 11:51-52).
Repent! Live a worthy, humble life of unity.
Prayer: Father, unite the Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox before theyear 2012.
Promise: "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father ofall, Who is over all, and works through all, and is in all." —Eph 4:5-6
Praise: St. Anthony not only gave missions himself, he founded theCongregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.