“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. This is what it will be like. It will be as if a household of five were divided, three against two and two against three…” From Luke 12:49-53
“At present there is increasing talk of schism. Will it be necessary for conservatives to separate, as the Old Catholics in Holland did after Vatican I? Or is it time for progressives to break away and form ‘The People of Vatican II’ as some are advocating?
In the end the question is, can we be in communion with people who have different thoughts and attitudes to ours? Historically, when divisions occur, at some point we break off communion. Religious people, whether catholics or protestants, christians, muslims or jews, take the matter of being ‘in communion’ very seriously. We value purity of doctrine above family bonds. We can’t break bread with you! This is very sad. It is very odd. I wonder is this the aberration that Jeshua knew they would not avoid?
What is the ‘unity’ he prayed for? Was it uniformity of thought and expression in a world whose very evolution and development is a product of diversity? Was it conformity that is changeless in a living world where adaptation to different environments is the rule of life’s survival? Was it to be unchanging in a cosmos where there is nothing that is not moving? Sameness, permanence, being still: these are all illusion.
Or was he thinking of a family bond that would hold us together, even while we find many different paths through life. Unity in diversity.
What is the touchstone? What is the bond that makes us one? Why do our divisions hurt more than the divisions that are part and parcel of politics in a democracy, of business interests, of sport and even of football codes? Why do we treat difference in our Christian Family as worse than criminal? Why do we cut off communion and refuse to talk with the ‘others’? Is it reasonable? Or is it childish recoil from the pain of family hurt where any disharmony is magnified into trauma.
I believe that, in the last analysis, it’s a matter of trust. We do not trust those who are different, or go a different way. The sad fact is that our rejection of them shows that we do not trust God to lead them along their paths. We judge them because the thought that there might also be another way threatens our security. Without understanding them, we reject them on the measure of our own perception of the truth. To cement our stance in place we all claim that God’s approval makes our position absolute. Children! Children! Behave yourselves. Remember where you are!
In our Father’s house we must first trust him. It is the embodiment of believing – to trust. It takes faith out of the airy intellectual and makes the heart big enough to embrace other sisters and brothers, God’s other children. It is not foolish or irresponsible to trust God. But it is silly to try to run his world our way.”
Article excerpt reprinted with permission.
Click link below to read Full article by Tony Lawless at Catholica.com:
He Brings Division? Sunday Readings