Agree and Disagree in the Church

by | Sep 1, 2020 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is in our midst as we gather together in his name.  It is due to him that we agree with one other and with our Father in heaven.

It is enough that two agree, that two or three gather….  So, in the first place, we do not need a megachurch.  Nor is it needed, in the second place, that the two or three have some office or traits.

Yes, quality counts more than quantity.  Surely, a great harvest needs workers, “but hardworking ones” (SV.EN XI:33).

Also, the two or three can be clergy or lay, white or black, male or female.  They can be young or old, in their teens or adults, poor or rich.  For the only and most important thing is to meet in the name of Jesus.

Gathered, we have the word of Jesus that he will be in our midst.  It is his word, too, that if we agree, his Father in heaven will agree also.  So then, Jesus will be at once the “Yes” of God and our “Amen” (2 Cor 1, 20).

Do we agree or do we quarrel?

But even when we meet in the name of Jesus, we still ask, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”  For we quarrel, too, doubt and get disappointed (Ex 17, 7; Jdg 6, 13).

No, we Catholics do not agree many times.  The Leatherby matter alone shows this.  But even when we disagree, we can at least agree to disagree.  This is possible (see the eulogy for Archbishop Jesús Dosado, C.M.).

But if we have to overcome disagreement, to agree to be mindful of those in need is what we can agree on.  After all, it worked for Paul, on the one hand, and Peter, on the other (Gal 2, 10).  For St. Vincent, too, and St. Louise; theirs was a journey from opposites to equals.

And there is nothing we can agree on better than to be mindful of those in need, if we believe in Jesus’ mission statement.  If we gaze upon the Son of Man who will judge us blessed or accursed on only one basis.  That is, on what we do or not do for the least of his brothers and sisters.

Also, to rub shoulders with Jesus is to hope to be new again.  He and the least will open our eyes.  So that we know that we are the ones in most need of God’s mercy (Freund; O’Donnell).  Such knowledge will lead us to take in humbly and gladly corrections from others.  To keep the whole law as we love our neighbor.

Lord Jesus, you call us to your Supper, the best way to gather in your name.  Grant us to agree never to let anyone go hungry (1 Cor 11, 21).  May we be among the few that you call.  For your works get done more by their faithfulness than by the great number of workers (SV.EN III:66-67).

6 September 2020
23rd Sunday in O. T. (A)
Ez 33, 7-9; Rom 13, 8-10; Mt 18, 15-20

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