Here is today’s Gospel, from St John: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one’.
It is easy for the phrase ‘I and the Father are one’ to slip through our minds, but there is a great depth in these words. St Cyril of Alexandria said, in commenting on this passage: ‘For thus He is shewn to be the undamaged Image of the Father, preserving in Himself whole and sound the Very Impress of the Father. And we say the Son and the Father are One, not blending their Individualities by the use of that number, as do some who say that the Father and the Son are the same [Person], but believing the Father by Himself and the Son by Himself to personally subsist; and collecting the two into One Sameness of Essence, also knowing them to possess one might, so that it is seen without variation now in One and now in the Other. “I and the Father are One”. By the word “One” He signifies the Sameness of their Essence: and by the word “are” He severs into two that which is understood, and again binds them up into One Godhead’.
As we ponder the meaning of these words, let us allow them to form us in prayer, for it is at that level that we shall expand our understanding; or rather, our souls will be expanded to ‘hold’ more of the meaning. May God bless you this day, in all that you undertake for Him.