A Franciscan Reflection on ONENESS in God’s Kingdom

Paul Keggington

November 24, 2012

As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and the promise of a heavenly kingdom, Franciscanized World highlights ONENESS,  Sister Ruth Ann Myers’ reflection found in her last issue as editor of  Franciscan Bridges, Sharing Our Lives, Hopes and Visions, a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community publication.

What is ONENESS?

What does ONENESS mean? Why is it so important for our daily spiritual life? Oneness was the topic of a sermon given by a monk in the new Holy Resurrection Monastery at St. Nazianz. At the time he spoke, I had no intention of writing about it months later, but some thoughts stayed with me and pursued me to think further about them. Oneness, he said, as I recall in my faded memory, does not come from belonging to the same institutionalized structures, or even from following Jesus’ teaching. No, it comes from the Spirit of ONENESS within each of us, that Spirit with which Jesus baptized us.

It occurred to me that the Source of our deep unity with each other comes from the oneness of the Spirit, while at the same time, in an amazing way, it allows for a diversity so great that it is almost incomprehensible. Our lives are rooted in the ONENESS of God. He created us in His image and lifeness which gives us the ability to understand and love each other.

Understanding ONENESS

We sometimes clarify an idea best when we focus on its opposite. In this case the opposite of ONENESS is Separation.

When we see ourselves and others as separate from our Creator, we begin to see evil in the world surrounding us. We are no longer able to recognize the Divine within each person or group. And, what are the results? Wars, violence and terrorism surround us. Governments and individuals seek to dominiate over others rather than seek to cooperate with others for the good of all. Cooperation is too often seen as weakness rather than a strength. Power over others rather than power for others becomes the goal. The dominant one becomes blind to the true identity of his/her opponent, who is also created in God’s image and likeness…We can so easily begin to see ourselves as the one that others are to become.

Biblical Passages:

  • Acts 17:26-29
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • Ephesians 4:3-4
  • 1 John:5-6

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