Striving For Unity
Thoughts on the Gospels -Joe
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 18: 9-14

I’m somebody because he’s less. We all know people who get through the day by convincing themselves of that self-referenced fiction. In fact, we may have gotten through a few days by doing the same thing. To categorize is to control – both my object and myself. Jesus encouraged us to worry less about controlling and more about loving. On a good day we’re on board with his advice; on a bad day we think of him as nice but naïve and file his counsel away for some rosy day in the future.

Jesus wanted us to take seriously our unity as a human family in which everyone is loved equally and absolutely respected as a creature of the One Creator. For him, this wasn’t an aphorism to admire and file away; it was the foundation on which to build God’s future.

Though he never said the words, Jesus’ practical teaching was stop categorizing people into us and them, good and bad, worthy and unworthy. “God is our father,” “Love your enemy,” “Judge not lest you be judged,” “God sends his rain on the just and the unjust.” All these sayings teach that we all are in the quest for God’s Future together. No one is outside of the movement into God’s Future. Our challenge is to live the reality of that future as much as we possibly can and constantly strive to increase the faith that frees us to live it more completely.

Dividing people into good and bad, those whom we’ll love and those we won’t is diametrically opposed to the vision we espouse. We can’t claim God as our Father if we reject his other loved children who are our brothers and sisters.

Even as we fail to live up to the reality of human unity in God, we know the truth of that unity. We struggle with the insecurities that lead us to control by categorizing. We keep trying, we keep praying and we keep supporting one another. And we never give up.