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Jesus Brings All People Together

by Feb 23, 2024Friar Reflection

As human beings, we tend to choose division, to choose our own personal needs over the needs of others and to impose our will on everyone else. This is called the way of sin. We Catholics called that original sin. The devil produces division and separation – division between God and us and division between us and others and division between ourselves and creation.

God promised the people of Israel, through the prophet Ezequiel, to restore unity and communion among all. He promised to restore the original state of peace and communion that was there in the Garden of Eden. Their hope became a reality in the person of Jesus. He breaks down all the barriers that separate us and establishes a lasting communion in the Christian community and family.

Our mission as a Church, a parish school, a local faith community, and Catholic family is to show that communion to all those around us. By renouncing ourselves and living in peace, we show God’s love for all to all those around us. Our life together as parish, family and school are living signs to others of the presence of the risen Christ who forms a new Garden of Eden.

This time of Lent is a season to deepen our Christian lifestyle of living together and renouncing division. I remember one time many years ago when one of the catechists in Peru said that the Christian community was like God placing a dog, a cat, a snake, a rat in one big burlap sack. Then the Holy Spirit comes and kicks the sack. Our expectation would be that the result would be a loud fight, a big war. But living together in a Christian community we all slowly learn to live in peace sharing the forgiveness we have received from God with others.

Our parents, brothers and sisters, classmates, friends, teachers, people who are disagreeable with us, and even our enemies are all in our lives because God put them there. They are there to help us learn how to live together as one big family. This time of Lent is a time when the Holy Spirit comes to kick all of us in the behind – pushing us through the practices of prayer, fasting, and charity to reduce our division and live as children of God, live loving one another. The best fast that we can do in Lent is fasting from our own ways of making division, fasting from violence, fasting from selfishness, fasting from sin.