Mend your ways

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Readings for June 7, 2020

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9
Daniel 3:52-56
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
John 3:16-18

www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

St. Paul is on his way back to Corinth and he has not heard good reports of their behavior. Bickering, disagreement, false teaching and unbelief all have taken a toll on the Church in Corinth. He tells them to “mend your ways.” But it is not just a simple scolding, it is also a plan–a path–to reconciliation. The steps aren’t complicated, but they do require some (well, maybe a lot of) humility. Rejoice, get along together, live in peace, and greet one another in love. Do these and “the God of love and peace will be with you.”

These were important words in Paul’s ministry and critical to us today. My Church is divided, as is much of the world around it. Within the Catholic Church, I see divisions of practice, of what many believe constitutes proper reverence, and even about our Holy Father. Within the world, I see divisions of politics and race and gender and age and economics and whatever else we believe ourselves more right about than anyone else.

I think Paul would write us a letter scolding our behavior were he coming to visit.

So it is time to mend our ways. We who believe likely think the path to reconciliation is through prayer and with faith. I absolutely believe that to be true. But it is also through admitting and mending our sinful ways. I am concerned that in our need for unequivocal rightness, we cannot set aside our pride long enough to reconcile with others, even within our own Church, we cannot “agree with one another” so to “live in peace.” And if this is the case, then we may be noisily pushing God Himself away from our hearts. In other words, if we want “the God of love and peace” to be with us, we need to behave in a like manner with each other. 

It is Trinity Sunday, a day in which we celebrate the unity of the three unique persons of the One true God. When we pray in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we pray that we believe in the unity of an outpouring of love. We are called to a similar unity with each other, despite our unique differences.

“Above all hold unfailing love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). So, let’s start within our own Church. Let’s put on our big boy and girl pants and start behaving as members of the Body of Christ, working together in love and for peace.

My Lord Jesus, we need your love and your peace in our world and in our Church. Let us walk in your way and work together as one body, one spirit in your name. Help us, be with us, love us. Amen

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