Repairers of a House Divided

by | Jan 22, 2021 | Formation, Reflections, Vincentian Family | 1 comment

Many are concerned about the divisions in our country and the world. So I should not be surprised at how many are turning to the Bible for guidance especially during this week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Here Is another piece I found that connects the dots with biblical wisdom.

Repairers of a House Divided offers Catholics and indeed all Christians some other connections with biblical wisdom in time of division.

Seven biblical perspectives…

  • First, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:39).
  • Second, stop judging lest we be judged (Matthew 7:1).
  • Third, don’t bear false witness (Exodus 20:16).
  • Fourth, seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).
  • Fifth, blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).
  • Sixth, pray for all those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  • Seventh, be as shrewd as serpents but as pure as doves (Matthew 10:16).

Each of these biblical perspectives is followed by a brief paragraph unpacking the relevance to the situation we find ourselves in today.

Perspectives on Christian Unity

Here I also offer highlights of their thoughts on Christian Unity similar to an earlier post on Vincentian Mindwalk.

  • Jesus was clear in the Gospel that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25).
  • Jesus’ prayer for unity not only reveals something about God and our being made in his image but also about the priority Jesus gives to communion among his followers.
  • Christian unity, however, is a means, not an end.
  • Church unity is supposed to be a model and means for a much deeper harmony and communion among others.
  • This is true, however, only when religious believers act like religious believers and practice what they believe and preach.
It is a providential occurrence that the inauguration of Joseph Biden as the 46th president of the United States is taking place during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 reminder of Jesus’ words concerning a house divided are becoming increasingly politically relevant. In such circumstances, faithful Christians cannot remain on the sidelines when Christian salt, light and leaven are most needed.
Christians are three-quarters of the U.S. population — Catholics, one-quarter. The vocation of Christians at this troubled time is not to run to mountaintop monasteries or join the opposition or insert within the administration. It’s to be salt, light and leaven, just like so many generations of Christians, in diverse contexts, have been before us. It’s to allow Christ’s prayer Ut unum sint to become living and active within us so that we can renew our national motto E pluribus unum and help restore national unity.
Catholics have been repeatedly co-opted by Republicans and Democrats to acquiesce to things self-evidently contrary to God’s kingdom for the sake of some political advantage in other areas. Many have identified more with party, or a particular politician or movement, than they have with the faith, and they’ve often ceased working to change their party from within, lest that weaken the party or candidate electorally.
A Catholic should never feel fully at peace in any political party, but work without ceasing to transform the platforms and positions that do not correspond to the truth taught by faith. To stop short of that is to count pieces of silver.

The full article provides many corridors to explore.


What struck you most?

1 Comment

  1. Ross

    Francis of Assisi lived up to the vision he saw and the urge he felt to rebuild the Church that was falling down. And he showed us that he could not do so without returning seriously to the beatitudes that starts out with the proclamation, “Blessed are you who are poor,” and continues on with the “woes.”

    And Francis’ way of life of poverty and of denunciation of greed, and, hence of injustices and violent conflicts and divisions, was at once gentle and firm, as St. Vincent’s and Jesus’, of course. They all both embodied their vision and sentiments, evangelized the poor by words and by works, and so were themselves the rebuilding or the repairing they wanted to take place.