"Christ cannot be divided"
"Christ cannot be divided"
A phrase from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, “Christ cannot be divided”, and the word ‘together’ were chosen as the golden thread of the Week of January 18-25 to promote and reinforce the unity of Christians.
We find these themes in that decisive document from a pastoral perspective of Pope Francis’ ‘Joy of the Gospel’. Among other things, he writes: “Given the gravity of the counter-witness of the division among Christians, particularly in Asia and Africa, seeking journeys of unity becomes urgent. If we concentrate on the convictions that unite us and we remember the principle of the hierarchy of values, we can walk quickly toward common forms of proclamation, of service, of witness. The immense multitude that has not received the proclamation of Jesus Christ cannot leave us indifferent”.
In reality, as Paul leads us to understand in the First Letter to the Corinthians, the risk of fragmentation among Christians, baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, is present from the beginning. The division of the churches has historical and cultural roots, but in the end, all is reduced to one deformation of the Christian faith. Only Jesus Christ, with His death on the Cross as the extreme act of love, unites all human beings among themselves and with God. During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Churches and ecclesial communities remember together that Christ is their one foundation and that only by adhering to Him and living His one Gospel, can they find full and visible unity among themselves.
Therefore, to found our life on Christ means to be one thing with Him, to think like Him, to want what He wants, to live like He lived. But how can we base and root ourselves in Him? How can we become one with Him? By putting the Gospel into practice. Jesus is the Word, the Word of God who became incarnate. If He is the Word that assumed human nature, we are true Christians if we are men and women who shape their life on the Word of God. If we live His words, rather, if His words live in us, to the point that we become “living Words”, we are one with Him, we embrace Him. It is no longer I or we who live, but the Word is in all. We can see that by living this way, we contribute so that the unity among all Christians may become a reality.
‘Together’ to promote dialogue and encounter, an attitude of openness in truth and in love must characterize dialogue with non-Christians believers, notwithstanding the various obstacles and difficulties, on both sides, particularly with fundamentalism. This inter-religious dialogue, the Pope reminds us, is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and even a duty for Christians, as for other religious communities. Dialogue must be first of all, a place of conversation on human life and simply an attitude of openness, sharing joys and preoccupations. In this way we learn to accept each other in our different ways of being, of thinking, of expression. The effort for unity that facilitates the acceptance of Jesus Christ must transform itself into a way that is fundamental for evangelization!