"Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force." —Ephesians 4:3
Think of being united with people you can't stand — people whom you had never asked for or imagined being united with (see Eph 3:20). For example, the Jewish Christians of the early Church had never imagined being co-heirs with the Gentiles, "members of the same body and sharers of the promise" (Eph 3:6). The Jewish Christians didn't want this unity and hoped it wouldn't last, but Paul commanded them to make every effort to preserve, not break, this unity.
Maybe you're united with people at church or work who turn you off. You wish you could get a transfer or at least avoid these people, but the Lord wants you to deepen the tenuous unity you want to break. Maybe an ex-spouse is trying to get back into your life. That's the last thing you want after what you've gone through. However, the Lord commands you to preserve this new-found, unwanted unity.
Often the unity we seek we don't attain — at least not for a long time. However, the unity we don't want is the unity we are stuck with. In obedience to God's will, preserve that unity which is against your will.
Prayer: Father, may I deny myself and expose myself to rejection in promoting unity and community according to Your will.
Promise: "There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all, and works through all, and is in all." —Eph 4:4-6
Praise: The day before Bill and Doreen's wedding, their two families united to pray together a holy hour of Eucharistic adoration.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Unity Gifts on audio AV 3A-3 or video V-3A.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010
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