Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
“It is necessary to circumcise them and direct then to observe
the Mosaic law.” (Acts 15:5)
The readings today made me think of union versus separateness. “The Pharisees, who had become believers,” were still insisting on circumcision as an identifier to separate believers from nonbelievers. Jesus in the Gospel gives us the lovely image of the union of a vine and its branches and the abundance of fruit on those branches.
This “I am the vine” discourse and the “I am the bread of life” discourse taken together have very overpowering Eucharistic symbolism. We think of "communion" as a private experience of receiving the Eucharist. It's not! It's a coming together, becoming one in community through Christ. We walk up to the minister of the Eucharist as individuals and we return to our pews as a community, i.e., the communion of the Church; the communion of all Christians.
I would like to play on these words communion and community today. I would like to think about them as compound words made up of common and union and common and unity respectively.
Thinking this way, the term CommonUnion really helps me reflect on and begin to glean some understanding about the CommonUnion of the Church, and the CommonUnion of Saints, which brings home to me the CommonUnion I share with all of humanity.
We enter into the Christian community through the sacramental bonds of unity. Initially, through our Baptism, and then on a continual basis through the Eucharist.
What would our communities be like if we thought of them as CommonUnity? In America, we live in a very individualistic culture, but God designed us to need community. (Since we are made in God’s likeness and God is in CommonUnity as the Trinity.) We experience God most fully through others.
Most of the time, God provides whatever we need THROUGH PEOPLE. Similarly, God provides what God wants to give to others THROUGH US. If something important is lacking in your life, it may be because you've either limited the size of your circle of Christian friends or you've not given them the opportunity to serve you. Are you or someone else suffering because you're not involved enough in commUnity? We must let go of our separateness so that God's blessings will flow freely to us, to the people we know and to the world. This is our Christian mission; this is our path to holiness.
The reality of commUnion, “God with us” in the Eucharist must be translated…taken out into the commUnity to be for our brothers and sisters God’s light, God’s heart, God’s hands so that together we can strive towards the perfection that is God. Lord help us to become Saints.
“Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” (Ps 122)
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