Today we read: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32). Looking around me, I can’t say that description jumps readily to mind. In my extended family, in my parish, on social media, I hear often about the deep divides between the Christian faithful.
But I wonder if the actual issues we face as a community of believers are as much about our perceptions and our focus (not to mention the ease and rapidity with which we can share our inner thoughts with the world) as they are a fundamental disunity.
Even within the Catholic Church: Roman vs Eastern, conservative vs progressive, Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) vs Novus Ordo, these distinctions are often how we define ourselves and how we label others.
But though we don’t always feel that unity, we ARE united in our faith. We are one in our love for Jesus Christ. Pope Saint John Paul II told us, “There is only one Church of Jesus Christ, which is like a great tree into which we are grafted. It is about a deep, vital unity, which is a gift of God. It is not only or above all external unity; it is a mystery and a gift” (Homily of John Paul II, Madrid, November 3, 1982).
Our differences of opinion, even on important matters, don’t define us or divide us. As believers, we are many parts, but one body (cf. Romans 12:4), and that is a gift and a mystery and a truth. If we, like the early followers of Christ, can focus our attention on love, charity, and growing in personal holiness, our differences won’t loom so large. We will be able to see more clearly that we are one.
We can pray together today as Jesus did: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (John 17:21).We are one. // @kendra_tierney Click To Tweet
Heavenly Father, draw me closer to my brothers and sisters in Christ today.
Thank you for being here.
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