18 Mar 2016
We hear about it all the time: people put up walls and tear down enemies. It even happens among Christians—and among Catholic Christians, at that. The reaction of the Jews toward Jesus isn’t something that belongs only to history; it’s a present reality in our global church. Sometimes (and, thankfully, not too often) Catholics squeeze each other out. Of course, what they’re doing is shutting out not only their brothers and sisters, but Christ as well!
The very telling sign that the Jews “did not have God within themselves” is that they were very divisive. The Prophet Jeremiah put it very sadly, but truthfully: “All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.” The Jews had cut him off, and cut him out—even though he was their brother.
And when Christians are being divisive—especially among themselves—it’s a very telling sign that “God is not within them.” They have ceased to act and be Christian. As we enter this final week of Lent—this final week of intense spiritual renewal—if we find that we harbor any resentment toward our brothers or sisters, or if we’re tempted to put up walls, now is the time to get humble and listen again to the Lord speak his words of peace and reconciliation.
We hear about it all the time: people put up walls and tear down enemies. But we also hear about people who tear down walls and build up their brothers and sisters. May we be more often in this second group—the group of Christians who see and live with a Catholic heart: a heart that embraces all as does the Sacred Heart of Jesus.