This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
Disunity among Christians remains a reality today. We could hazard a guess that all of us are still too much bound up with the minutiae associated with institutionalized religion in general: the traditional battle between law and the spirit of the law. Nevertheless, much concrete progress has been evidenced in recent history. Public statements of agreement have been promulgated by Anglicans/Roman Catholics and Lutherans/Roman Catholics. A greater spirit of reconciliation has taken place also between the patriarchs of East and West, and Rome has a special Congregation assigned to work with ecumenical endeavors. On a less auspicious level, ordinary churchgoers have moved away from proselytizing to becoming more involved in ecumenical activities. Today, less noticeable or perhaps not even thought of as having importance for Christian unity are significant trends in the area of social justice. Though the scandal of our present separateness does not allow us to sit down and break bread at the same eucharistic table, the consecrated bread was and is first of all fruit of the earth. How much more scandalous, then, for those who do sit at the table of the Lord, to make a separation between the eucharistic bread and that bread of the earth so unevenly distributed at family tables throughout our world today. Seeing the connection and doing something to remove this scandal is the formidable task of all Christians no matter what their religious persuasion. It is not superfluous to ask ourselves, “What am I doing to remove the scandal”?
Jesus, help us to increase in the love You have for our sisters and brothers!
Sister Mary E. Penrose, OSB
|Sister Mary E. Penrose is a Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. She edits readings for the liturgical Hours and writes reflections for the Community. And she is a tutor for the African Sisters attending The College of St. Scholastica. She was editor of a journal, Spirit & Life, for 18 years.|