Divisiveness happens because we tend to pick our loyalties. And we uphold loyalty as a value. But St. Paul had to remind the Christian community of Corinth that the ultimate loyalty is to Jesus Christ. With the prevalence in social media of showing our delight by “liking” this or that, we know we can “like” a great multitude of things. But there seems to be no legitimate outlet for our “dislikes.” And there is the danger that divisiveness allows for the free and unfettered discharge of our dislikes. We forget that there are a lot more things that bring us together despite our differences. Chocolate lovers and non-Chocolate lovers mingle freely in every situation. No one uses that difference to divide us. So when we express a preference for this or that devotion or religious author or saint or preacher or musician or architectural style, it is not an automatic disdain for what is not our preference. And when charismatic personalities use their powers of persuasion to divide us, we can probably tell they are more interested in rising above the crowd for more self-centered reasons.
Jesus had to fend off the crowds after a successful night of healing and demon-expelling. They wanted more. But they will always want more. And his mission extended farther than any one place or time. His mission continues in the church, in the community of the baptized, in you and me. We go forth to proclaim God’s presence and action in our lives so that others might recognize God’s presence and action in their own. The glory is God’s, not ours. And when we know who we serve, who we work for, all the rough spots and differences matter little if at all. If we focus on hearing God’s voice and doing God’s will, everything else falls easily into place. And it helps to discern with others who we know are wiser and who can keep us from going rogue.
This mass was offered for the repose of +Haydee Clark.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020