Year C: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paul’s letter to the Galatians 3: 26-29
St Paul addresses the divisions among the Galatians by reminding them of what their Baptism means.
The nature of our Baptism is radical - as Paul says - “there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female” - all are one in the Body of Christ Paul emphasises his point - “you are - all of you - are sons (and daughters!) of God - you are all baptised - you have all clothed yourselves in Christ - the call to oneness in Christ
However, one look at the Church - one look at Christianity - and we see how far short of this ideal we fall. Everywhere we look, we see differences highlighted - distinctions made.
Disunity seems easier to live with than the struggle for a unity within the Body of Christ.
Difficulties face everyone - opinions differ as to how things should be done - how Scripture should be interpreted and so on. And there are no easy solutions - as Paul indicates here - it was always so.
In part, of course, this can be because matters of our Faith are so important to us - we care passionately about our beliefs and are deeply hurt when others disagree.
It can also be because we are afraid of the challenge of listening to others - as Jews had to listen to Greeks - citizens to slaves - men to women - because we might find that they have a point and that we have to change in response to what they say.
There are no easy solutions - only the awareness of the One Lord - one Faith - One Baptism. - and the consolation that, if God had wanted us all to be the same, He would have made us the same.
Perhaps, God’s foolishness is greater than our wisdom - we want everything to be the same (preferably our) way - yet God puts us among people who see things differently.
This means that we have to examine our own beliefs and test them against those of others.
This may challenge our faith - but can often make it stronger...
and our willingness to listen ensures an openness to the Spirit of God in the other which may just be the opening God needs to get in and help us to resolve the divisions between us...
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