Editorials

Communion in the Midst of Division

To the outside world, the United States seems to be a nation divided and, sadly, perhaps we are, in some ways.

In some perspectives, in some worldviews, there is nothing but divisions: rich versus poor; white versus black; man versus woman; Catholic versus Protestant; Christian versus Muslim, and on and on. And this is on the macrolevel — on the microlevel, we can find Republican versus Democrat; urban versus rural; mask-wearing versus non-mask wearing.

We need to remember that this is through the view of human beings. The truth of the matter is that we as human beings are called to communion. We need communion with each other because the God in whose image and likeness we are created is, in Himself, a communion of love and knowledge. In the Most Blessed Trinity, we see how we are called to live and to love as Christians in the world.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2009 said: “Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is wholly and only love, the purest, infinite and eternal love. He does not live in splendid solitude but rather is an inexhaustible source of life that is ceaselessly given and communicated. To a certain extent, we can perceive this by observing both the macro-universe: our earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies; and the micro-universe: cells, atoms, elementary particles. The ‘name’ of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way, we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love,
though naturally with varying degrees of awareness and freedom.

“The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: love alone makes us happy because we live in a relationship, and we live to love and to be loved. Borrowing an analogy from biology, we could say that imprinted upon his ‘genome’, the human being bears a profound mark of the Trinity, of God as Love.”

We as human beings, in our very nature, mirror that inner life of the Triune God and in no greater way is that ex-
pressed than when we strive to live lives of communion with one another. Listen to the words of the epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. The Apostle Paul (2nd Corinthians 13:11-13) exhorts us to love one another, to greet each other with a holy kiss, in other words, to live a life of harmony. And how does he end this passage? With nothing less than the words offered as the first option for the greeting in the introductory rites of the Mass:

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”

The inner life of God in the Most Blessed Trinity offers to us the model of how we are to live as Christians, namely in the world, yet not of the world, yes, but also not apart from one another. We all called to be leaven in the world, to transform the world, by our presence and the daily living of the Gospel. The answer to how to live as an authentic Christian in the world today is found when we, as Christians, live our lives in communion with our brothers and sisters. Our Gospel, taken from the Evangelist John (3:16) reminds us “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.”

Despite the fact we can be “stiff-necked people” (Ex 34:9), we are redeemed by the Lord and we are called to communion. In these tense months, pray for the gift of communion.

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