We are one body

Blog Published: January 17, 2024
By Elisabeth Beall
three people sit together praying

Late last year, I was scrolling through my social media feed, and I paused on something posted by the husband of a friend of mine – it mentioned the Virgin Mary.

It wasn’t a post he wrote, although it was a post he shared from one of his friends. It spoke disparagingly about Catholics worshiping Mary – a falsehood, and disappointing to see.

But far worse was that this post opened the door to some incredibly vitriolic comments from this man’s other social media friends.

I stared at this post for long minutes. I know this man and his wife to be incredibly decent people. They are active in their church, they care about their community and their family and friends, and they are focused on living out the gospel.

So how could he possibly share something so wrongheaded? How could he permit his other friends to make such uncharitable remarks about fellow Christians – even if they don’t subscribe to all the tenets of the Catholic faith?

Most of us are uncharitable at least on occasion. We may have thoughts about the way other generations dress, behave, or express themselves. We may have poor opinions of people whose political beliefs do not align with our own. We may roll our eyes at some of the practices or stances of other religious groups.

That’s what makes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity so very important. It’s a vital reminder that we are not simply members of our parish, or our diocese, or the Catholic Church. It’s a reminder that we are all part of the Church established by Christ. Although the nuances of our faith practices may differ, together, we are all followers of Christ.

That’s what Christian unity means: that we are all one in our apostolic journey. We are all one in our obedience to Christ’s commandments: to love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Beyond that, Christian unity shows the world what God is like. Just as He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three in one – we are many in one: multitudes of individuals making up the Church and reflecting God’s love. Our unity is, in fact, one of divine love.

We are still in the first month of this new year – not too late to make a resolution! So I invite you to resolve to live this year in Christian unity; to be grateful for your fellow Christians’ faith in Christ, rather than critical of the way they live out that faith; to band together to manifest the Spirit and show the world the truth of God’s love. Let us all resolve to live as it says so clearly in 1 Corinthians 10:17: that "we, who are many, are one bread, one body."


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