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Sunday, July 30, 2006

One Body, One Spirit, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism and one God

That's a lot of ones. My first impression from last Sunday's readings was that the second reading (Ephesians 4:1-6) wasn't as closely aligned with either the first reading or the Gospel reading, as those two were. In the first reading (2 Kings 4:42-44), the miracle of the prophet Elisha, feeding a hundred men with twenty barley loaves and fresh grain, is a type of another miracle: when Jesus fed five thousand men from five barley loaves and two fish, which was related in the Gospel reading. The second reading from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians does not talk about food, or feeding. It talks about what is perhaps the matter closest to my heart: the unity of the Spirit that St. Paul describes by saying,

"There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all."

St. Paul is talking about unity, but also providence, which fits the miracle of feeding so many with what realistically seems to be an insufficient supply of food.

There's this deep longing and sadness that stirs within me when I survey the scene of Chistendom today. Don't get me wrong. I sincerely believe that the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that is the mystical body of Christ subsists today in the Catholic Church. But there are Christians out there too. The Catechism states,

"In the churches and ecclesial communities which are separated from full communion with the Catholic Church, many elements of sanctification and truth can be found. All of these blessings come from Christ and lead to Catholic unity. Members of these churches and communities are incorporated into Christ by Baptism and we so we recognize them as brothers." (CCC 817-819,870)

Christendom divided brings to mind the sorrow I feel when my children bicker, especially over petty things. How small our disagreements must ever seem to our Heavenly Father!

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