“That they might be one as We are one “
These words spoken by Jesus remind us that working towards unity is an essential responsibility for all who follow Christ.
Jesus wants the best for us so he wants us to have...
unity in our families,
unity in our society,
and unity among all those who call themselves Christian.
God wants us and calls us to be of one mind and one heart.
We live in a very divided world.
That’s no surprise to anyone in this Church.
Washington is so divided that nothing gets done, our country is poorly served, and both sides just blame and yell at each other.
And as bad as it has been this election season I fear we are just getting started.
Our society is becoming more and more polarized on all kinds of issues, important fundamental issues which mold and shape our world.
Even our Church often appears divided between people who label themselves liberals and conservatives.
Most sadly the Body of Christ is itself divided into countless denominations which continually give up on even trying to be one.
In a world as divided as ours you can understand why people ask themselves if unity is possible.
Our faith teaches us that working for unity is indeed possible and important because God himself is one.
And because God is one there is only one truth because a truth comes from God.
What’s true for you is true for me and what’s true for me is true for you.
Truth is not ours to create it is ours embrace.
One of the biggest obstacles to the unity is the conviction that all of us have our own truth.
Many believe that truth depends not on God’s law but on each and everyone’s personal opinions and circumstance
They say thing like “it’s right for me, or I believe this”
We call this type of thinking relativism
Relativism goes against everything thing revealed to us by God and causes our society great harm and division
Put simply We don’t make the truth... God does.
God’s Truth is our to discover.
One might wonder how can we work toward unity in such a divided world?
How can we make our homes, our families, our society, and our Church more united as God would have us do? It almost seems impossible
- The first thing we have to do is humbly seek to understand God’s truth ourselves and not create our own.
All of have an obligation and to study the living tradition of the faith and o to humbly submit to it completely.
Secondly after sincerely having tried to discern God’s will and surrender to it
when differences arise we must listen to each other and respect each other.
We have to have open and calm discussions
Even when different people see the same reality in different ways.
Unity is not something that just happens.
We have to do is realize that sometimes, most of the time, infact unity takes effort and patience and humility.
And so dear Sisters and Brothers, we need to respect those who look at things differently.
We need to listen to them and patiently share our understanding God’s will and God’s truth with them.
Only Humility, patience, calm, and sincerity coupled with God’s Truth will make us one.
Catholics have a huge advantage when it comes to unity.
Jesus knew that unity would not be easy to create so He gave the Church the Ministry of Peter or his successor the Pope.
Catholics have the consolation of knowing that when all else fails
When a common understanding of truth cannot be found even after a patient humble search for one we can turn to Peter and we ask for his help.
Jesus said you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.
The Petrine ministry or ministry of our Holy Father guarantees the unity of the Church. Catholics believe that through God’s grace St. Peter and his successors have the final word.
In others Christian denominations and even in Islam no one has the final word. This is why there are so many divisions and so much confusion. Christian agains Christian Shia against Sunni.
As St. Ambrose said. “Where there is Peter, there is the Church
This is an incredible gift which keeps our Church from splitting over and over the again.
Let us not give up on building a united society.
Let us discern God’s will and God’s plan for ourselves and our Church and our world
Let us humbly submit to it
Let us patiently refrain from angry and bitter arguments that destroy rather than build up.
Unity, a communion of heart and mind must always be ours to seek and to work for humbly and patiently .
For as we heard in the Scriptures Jesus longs for us to be one as He and the Father are one.
Happy Mother’s Day