Love can overcome division

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Little girls on meadow at sunset large copy space SBI 300996190Paul writes to the Galatians and strongly affirms their freedom in the Gospel. But he warns that their freedom can become a base of operations for earthly passions and emotions to create division and pain. The reading from Luke’s Gospel this week, where the disciples want Jesus to smite the Samaritans because they don’t agree with Jesus’ behavior, is an example of what Paul is talking about.

So too is this long month of the past week. It has been filled with hot takes and quick reactions that have inflamed passions and led to violence, tear-gassed demonstrators and fear. Paul says there’s an antidote to this pain; loving your enemies and serving them. But that’s not a message anyone seems to be sharing at the moment.

For the Church in this moment, divided as we are, living into Paul’s prescription for our fear and pain is what we should do, but I’m not optimistic we will do. But some will try to do what Paul suggests, and perhaps that will be enough. We can be among those who try. It would be a profound witness to the World if we did.

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