“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.” - Eleanor Roosevelt: 1884 –1962: was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States of America)
Gospel Text: (MK 9:38-40)
John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.”
When it comes to the topic of Christian Unity, Pope Francis said something that I thought was very interesting:
“Christians must seek unity together, they must pray for one another and they must work together to assist the poor and vulnerable.” He went on to say: “With due respect to theologians, while the Catholic and mainline churches have been engaged in high-level ecumenical dialogues for 50 years, I am convinced it won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. The work of theologians is essential for understanding but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgment Day.”
And he went on to say: “The Holy Spirit brings about unity and Christians must open their hearts to the Spirit’s gifts with prayer, friendship, closeness and reflection.”
If we can open our hearts in this way, if we can allow the Spirit to take the lead in our lives, then I think we will capture something of the great vision Francis has for our Christian witness today where we will be seen as “human beings (who) are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection”.
Occasionally, when someone today wants to pay a real compliment to someone else you may hear them remark; ‘he’s the salt of the earth’. I am convinced that if we as churches work together, pray for each other and reach out to the marginalized, the poor, those suffering from addiction of any kind; then we, in our day, will merit that compliment and in fact fulfill the command of Christ to be the ‘salt of the earth’.