“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”Jesus is trying to reason with the Scribes as they accuse him of calling on Satan for the power to drive out demons, (he has been going here and there driving out unclean spirits and freeing people from possession). Essentially, Jesus tells them ‘your logic is flawed. How does it make sense that Satan would drive himself out of a person to make me look good when all I talk about is the power of my Father, God?’I love this passage and we went over it in Bible study the other day. But it got me thinking of a present problem that many are facing right now….and that is…reconfiguration.I have been hearing so many stories about bitterness and ugliness that is surrounding various reconfigurations and I am deeply disturbed. As usual, people are not seeing the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the world church. The church of the people. Our church, yours and mine. I am dismayed to hear some of the “ownership issues” that carry over from one to another and basically impede the process of coming together and redefining ourselves. What is happening to us? Can we not see that we harm our mission if we act as though we are the only things that matter? I believe that is why we are hemorrhaging. We want to live only in the confines of our Catholic thought and not in the whole world. I believe our logic is flawed.Quite possibly we are simply reaping what we have sown. I heard a story today about an Italian family that grew up on the west side of our city which was predominantly Irish, German and Polish and attended one of the local churches. At that church, they told them that they, (the Italian family) didn’t really belong there, maybe they should go to the east side where the Italian church was. The church has since closed. “A house divided against itself will not stand.”I know that if I were to say this to certain people it would ruffle their feathers in a big way but I think there are so many people who simply need to grow up in their faith. Yes, it is a painful thing to have your family parish close but you know what…Eucharist is probably a mile away and isn’t that the point? In many countries people travel a whole day simply to hear the mass and celebrate the Eucharist, it is a blessing. We, as Americans need some serious perspective. We, as Catholics need some vision. We need some faith.I think it is good to be reminded that unless we work together we could be left with nothing. I think it is good to look at how the Holy Spirit is guiding the peacemakers, (and there are many) in this process. I think it is right that we should all have to sacrifice a little of our own comfort zone to be welcoming to anyone new in our own parishes. We are the church, but the church is not ours…it is Gods. The willingness and openness have to come from us.Today I pray for us as a people of faith to have a vision for the church of our children and our grandchildren. I pray that we not fan the flame of discontent, instead we provide the salve of healing. I pray that we be the welcoming and compassionate people that Christ calls us to be so that our house will stand.
Wife, mother, blogger. Director of Faith Formation at an upstate inner city Catholic parish. Have facilitated adult faith groups. I love to garden even when it goes wrong. Same with writing...and we know it can go wrong. But here is where my love of God and love of writing intersect.