We know what is a broken marriage. We know what is a broken family. I refer to a father and a mother, separating with bitterness.
I also refer to a broken clan where brothers and sisters don’t talk to each other, or cousins grew up separately not knowing that they are even first cousins.
If we ask them, “Why are you not holding family reunions? Why don’t you see each other? Why are your nephews and nieces not relating to one another?”
They cannot even recall anymore what is the source of the original conflict. Very often the reason is very petty—a few hundred pesos, or food, a party, or a gift that was not given and the case exaggerated in grand proportions.
On a larger scale, we also have the hurt, the pain, and the anguish of Christian separations. We believe in Christ. We are Catholics while they are Protestant. They are Born Again. They are Lutherans. They are Methodists, and they all believe in Christ.
We all believe in Christ. We all belong to the same family. We all say God is our Father but we cannot go to the same altar. We cannot go to the same Church. We cannot go to the same communion.
The Buddhists and the Moslems cannot understand us. And if we ask Christians, Protestants, and Catholics, “What is the source of your division?”
They don’t know anymore. They will say they found it like that. This is not the will of God.
According to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, the will of God for us is unity. The will of God for us is peace. The will of God for us is harmony.
But why is harmony, peace, and unity destroyed? The Gospel answers us—because of that one big word POSTPONEMENT.
We postpone saying that reconciling word. We postpone making that phone call or writing that letter to say sorry.
We postpone making that apology. We postpone saying the word, “I love you.” We postpone saying the word, “I need you.” We postpone acts of reconciliation.
The more we postpone, the more difficult it is to reconcile. If our forefathers had only reconciled 900 years ago, the division between Orthodox and Catholics would not be this big.
If our ancestors had only reconciled 900 years ago, then the Church would still be one. If only we made that phone call, wrote that letter, made that apology, paid that visit, joined the party, and accepted that invitation even if there was anger in our hearts, reconciliation could have begun.
We would not have reached this sad state right now. If we have to do something good for the sake of unity and peace, let’s do it now, not tomorrow.
Gospel reflection of Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan. Lk. 12:54-59