But tonight... we were discussing ecumenism, and the call each and every Christian has to pray for unity among the body of Christ on earth. We should all be about the business of authentic ecumenism. We have much to learn from each other, and Catholics need to be engaging in conversations with Christians from other communities, listening to them, working with them every chance we get, and sharing all that we have in common.
Yes, it is important that we never water-down our own faith, our doctrines, or compromise the things we hold dear as Catholics. But as the good Deacon is constantly reminding us, our belief that the fullness of Christian truth is revealed and contained in the Catholic church should never make us haughty... it should make us humble. We have been given an unspeakable treasure.
"To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48
My mind is swirling with the possibilities of what one, holy, apostolic, UNITED church might be like! How beautiful, how diverse, how rich, how multi-dimensional it will be. And it WILL be...Jesus' prayer will be answered. (John 17:20-23) The day will come when the Christian body on earth will be ONE. We must pray for it, and work for it, and be part of it.
Oh, for the day when our sad divisions will cease, and we will worship Christ together as one.
I truly cherish my Christian friends from other communities, and what I learn from them is invaluable. They enrich my walk with Jesus, and they inspire me. I truly hope that they are blessed by my life as well.
I have learned from them an infectious love and hunger for Scripture. I've been reminded by them that I must nurture my personal relationship with Jesus, and invite the Holy Spirit's guidance in my life. I have been amazed by their commitment to the Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all nations. I see in them the fruits of a passionate love for Jesus. A sold-out, no-holds-barred love for Jesus.
I hope when they look at me they see the same. My Jesus, I love You and only You!
I hope my life breaks down some of the barriers between us, and gently sweeps away some of the misconceptions. And I hope I can invite them to share the rich traditions that add such depth and beauty to my faith, like ~ a holy devotion to our Blessed Mother, and the communion of saints who have gone before us ~ the feast days that help teach us many important truths of our Christian faith ~ the many beautiful prayers we have ~ the sacraments through which God's grace flows into our lives ~ and most of all, the Body and Blood that feeds us.
When the blessed day comes, and the body of Christ is united, when we are ONE, I think the resulting Church will be something I've never even imagined before. When all the unique gifts and attributes are put together and woven into one tapestry, well, can you even dream of how glorious it will be?!?
Oh Lord, hasten the day when we will be as one again... soon!