The Gospel according to John, chapter 17, is an intimate conversation between the Son and the Father. We, of course, only hear what the Son says. Indeed, we are privileged to hear Jesus express His desires for us: perfect oneness and the vision of glory. What more could we ask for?!? If we bear in mind that Jesus always makes possible what He desires for us and what He asks of us, then we can be full of hope that His desires for us will be realized. That we be one in Christ, that we love one another as different as we may be, that forgiveness be the currency in the life of the Universal Church and of our parish, is within reach because “there’s a wideness in God’s mercy”, as Frederick William Faber (+1863), English priest and noted hymn writer, expresses in the opening verse of his hymn of the same name. The rest of what he says further speaks to this truth. Here are three stanzas:
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.
Yours in our Risen Lord,
From the desk of the Rector