The disciples were traveling thousands of miles spreading the message of the Risen Christ. People of all cultures and backgrounds were coming to the new church. Some were advocating that before they could join the church they would need to become Jewish first. Others were reading scripture and indicating that although the Jewish people were the chosen race by God, there are passages that God intended that all people come to Him. How to resolve this issue? There was a lot of dissension and debate.
The Church is no stranger to dissension and debate. What is unique is how the Church resolves such issues as these. From the beginning, it is understood that the Church would need the guidance of God, specifically the Holy Spirit. Groups would form to discuss the issue. Others would take the issue to prayer. Still others would search the scriptures for direction. This established a pattern that has carried the Church for over two thousand years and has served the Church well. Other institutions have come and gone but the Church remains. It is holy but not made of holy individuals.
The Holy Spirit is holy and that is how the Church is guided. Many people agree the Church moves slowly and they may indicate that the Church is not keeping with society. But then we remember the Church is in the world but not of the world. The Church’s time is God’s time. We who are baptized have the same nature as the Church.
God does want to draw all people to Himself. To do this people must learn about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of the Church. People have free will. God does not force them to accept Him but to learn how to love Him. When dissension arises in your life, is your first thought to take it to prayer? May you should give it a try. Seems to me we’re made to do that.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen