In my family, we have a rule that everyone has learned to accept over the years: it’s okay to disagree with each other. It’s okay to discuss our disagreements—even passionately.
But it’s not okay to get so caught up in our disagreements that anger, pride, and defensiveness take over. That’s when a discussion turns into a fight. When that begins to happen in our home, we take a time-out so that everyone has a chance to settle down.
The ninth chapter of Luke’s Gospel deals with division, argument, and separation as well. In this chapter, Jesus talks to his apostles about their relationships with each other, about the way they view those who are building the kingdom but aren’t part of their group, and about the way they view people who haven’t accepted the gospel at all. Jesus’ words in this chapter can speak volumes to us today.
When it comes to our own friends and family, we have a sense of how we should relate to each other with sincere love. We just have to put it into practice and ask the Lord to help us with his grace.
In our attitudes toward non-Catholics, it’s important that we show love and respect. We should always be on guard against an us-against-them mentality. We need to remember Jesus’ teaching that anyone who is not against us is for us.
In our attitudes toward people who are indifferent toward God or who do not believe, we need to find common ground. Yes, we are called to evangelize, but Jesus wants us to be compassionate and humble, not callous or self-righteous.
As we look at these issues this month, I hope you find the grace to be a brighter light of unity and love to everyone around you: friends, strangers, and even enemies.
Can You Help? For more than ten years now, I have been visiting nearby prisons. Usually, I attend Mass with the inmates and then meet with them to talk about the Lord. We use the meditations from The Word Among Us as a starting point as we share about the Mass readings for that day. I always enjoy hearing what these inmates have to say, because their insights are often more exciting than my own!
These men receive The Word Among Us because of generous donations to our Partners ministry from readers like you. It’s clear to me that this magazine is making a difference. So I want to thank those of you who have donated to Partners. You are changing lives!
In addition to making our magazine available to prison inmates, Partners also provides copies to those serving in the military and to women in crisis pregnancies or seeking healing after an abortion. I can tell from the letters we receive that all these people are deeply grateful to those who donate. In the center of this month’s issue, you’ll find an insert that includes some of their voices. It also explains how so many more are on our waiting list. Please consider helping us bring God’s love to these people who are asking for our help. May God bless you.
Joe Difato, Publisher | Email the Publisher