My comments on what is happening in our community are in my Invitation letter; the newsletter is coming out the beginning of this week.
In our first reading this weekend, Moses uses these words to answer Joshua’s complaints about two men prophesying who were not with their group when it was commissioned: Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! The same thing happens in the Gospel with John complaining about someone “not of our group” casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus says, whoever is not against us is for us.
One of the scandals of Christianity is our divisions. And arguably the worst part of that is how we talk about and treat each other. Can the violence in Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants be justified in any way from the Gospel?
We are Catholic because we believe that is what is right. But that doesn’t mean we have the right to act in a non-Gospel way towards others. Perhaps instead of thinking “we are right and they are wrong,” we would be better to think like Jesus: we are doing what we think is right and “whoever is not against us is for us.”
A concrete example in our own home: I am floored by the driving Gospel values underpinning Kingdom Prep as they reach out to vulnerable teens. I am proud that they are living out Gospel values in our building.
We want justice in the world. We want peace in the world. We want the Gospel value of serving the least among us to be lived out ever more fully. From that perspective, we need to concentrate on doing that ourselves and supporting others who are doing the same. Let us support each other, and all who are promoting justice and peace, even if they are not “part of our group."
-- Paul James Portland, SDS