Read: Ephesians 4:1-6, Ps. 24:1-6, Luke 12:54-59
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
As Christians, there is an essential unity that should exist among us and wherever that unity is absent; it is a sign that we are yet to be fully converted. How can we achieve this unity that is so lacking today among fellow Christians? Both the first reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and the Gospel passage today gives us some insights.
1. BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE. People are not perfect and the best way to have peace with one another is to be understanding and sympathetic to their weaknesses. Sometimes, we expect too much from our fellow Christians, we rate them so high as though they were gods but as long as we continue to live in this human flesh, we remain subject to so many limitations. That is why we must bear with each other.
2. TIME IS ESSENTIAL, DO NOT LET THE SUN SET ON YOUR QUARREL. In relationships with fellow Christians, there are bound to be moments of misunderstanding. As Jesus tells us in the Gospel passage, we must take advantage of the time available to us. Forgive as soon as a quarrel arises, the best time to quench a fire is when there is only a spark not after the whole building has been reduced to ashes. Have you wondered how a little quarrel over an insignificant issue sometimes becomes so bad that it keeps people at loggerheads for months, days, weeks, and even years?
3. READ THE SIGNS AND ACT EARLY. Sometimes, Christians quarrel without knowing where and how they started having difficulties with one another. If for instance, you are used to greeting a particular person and he or she always returns your greetings, then all of a sudden, one day you greet this same brother or sister and there is no response, do not assume that he or she is angry with you. It may just be that he is in trouble and confused, perhaps somebody had just died in his family. Etc. you never can tell. Such a simple issue is a sign, act immediately. Do not keep silent, go and visit this brother or sister, sit down and talk.
4. REMEMBER THAT HEAVEN HAS NO BRANCHES. Heaven is one place, there are no separate departments in heaven, there are no branches in heaven, and there is no such thing as Catholic Heaven, Pentecostal Heaven, or Redeemed Heaven. It is the same Jesus Christ that we serve; there is no Catholic Jesus as separate from Pentecostal Jesus. This is what St. Paul meant by saying, it is one faith, one baptism, and one Lord.
There is a story of a man who quarreled with his fellow church member and they couldn’t reconcile till both of them died. When they got to heaven, both passed the test and were granted admission, when the man noticed his friend in line entering into the same heaven, he shouted: “No, if it means I will have to live in the same place as this man in eternity, I would rather prefer to go to hell because what this man did to me…. hmmmmm…. I will never forgive.”
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, keep me united with you and my fellow brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of week 29 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ephesians 4:1-6, Ps. 24:1-6, Luke 12:54-59)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu