|Sts. Peter and Paul|
Icon of Christian Unity
Several years ago I was curious about the number of ‘churches’ in my hometown of Denham Springs. I opened up the phone book and turned to the churches section and found nearly 60 different places just in Denham Springs. I was shocked that there were so many there, and I can only imagine how many are here in Baton Rouge. And yet, I know that no two of those ‘churches’ really teach the same thing. And not just disagreements on small articles of faith, but major ones. I was looking at a website the other day and found a page speaking on how the Trinity is not Biblical and isn’t a reality. The Trinity - one of the core beliefs of the Catholic Church; really, THE core belief of the Catholic Church. And yet at this other Christian ‘church’, they say otherwise. Such great disunity.
In the Gospel today, Jesus is accused of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, himself a demon. Jesus points out how foolish this is, saying that any house that is divided against itself cannot stand. We know that the Catholic Church will never be destroyed because Jesus Himself said that gates of hell shall not prevail against her. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t have some major problems along the way. Remember the Jews of the Old Testament; the Lord made many promises to them. The promises made to them were fulfilled by God, but along the way they endure many trials, much persecution and two major exiles from their land. They were divided and they paid a price, but the Lord was ultimately faithful to His promise. Just like the Jews of old, we Christians lack unity. The over 40,000 protestant denominations that have arisen in the past 500 years attest to the fact that Christians are clearly not united.
It is fitting then, that today as we listen to these words that speaks of division and destruction, that we pray for the unity of all Christians. Pray that all Christians might once again be brought together to be united in spirit and in truth, and be one as Jesus and the Father are one, as the Lord said in the scriptures.