If They Are Not Against Us, They Are With Us

Week of September 27, 2015

It is always about a dividing line. Who is with us, and who is against us? If you are like me, you might already be over saturated with political debates. Every week new polls show us who is where, who has offended who and where all the lines are drawn. We are far from Election Day, but the polarization of the process must be called into question. Even within the statistics, there are groups of those who are with the person and those who are not.

It seems that we take a lot of time analyzing these divisive lines. The disciples of Jesus are quick to let Jesus know that they see others using His name who are not in the inner core and they are driving out demons. They come to Him, concerned, maybe jealous or wanting to keep control over the good that is taking place and the blessings that are happening. Jesus looks at the good. He will not allow His disciples to have control. He will not allow His disciples to draw lines of who is a follower and who is not. In the political arena we will be asked to be faithful citizens and vote. We will be invited to shut out mainstream media which twists the facts and enhances division instead of unity. In the spiritual arena we are invited to walk hand in hand and follow the Lord with all of our brothers and sisters. St. Augustine said that all religions possess truth; all religions, not just the Catholics. He also said in all of his wanderings, the Catholic Church possesses the most perfect truth. We are recipients of that gift. So often times we are placed in conversations that long to divide and dissect Christianity. We are often invited to make dividing lines over the good that our evangelical brothers and sisters do in the name of God. For us to change the world and form it anew after the Body of Christ we must get as fed up with those trying to divide Christians as we are with those who divide our nation by political rhetoric. We must see the good in others. We must see the good of God in other denominations. Hand in hand we can fight for life issues. Hand in hand we can fight for dignity among all people. Hand in hand we can find our voice.

The poverty of those who visit the food pantry or are at Hesed House is beyond the denominations of churches. The people who struggle with heroin addictions do not care about which denomination opens a door, but only that one will. We are in serious times. We are facing incredible obstacles, yet the division of Christians should not be one of them. We need to be proud of our Church and the sacramental foundation it offers us. We need to be true to our beliefs, yet with the same heart, see the good in others. Making a difference means we begin with the openness within our own hearts.