At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that his people would be united (John 17:21). He also prayed that the mark of his disciples would be their love for one another (13:34-35). And in today’s second reading, Paul makes a plea for unity in the Corinthian church. What will be the single most compelling thing that will move people to believe in Jesus? Our unity. Our love for each other. We were not in Corinth two thousand years ago. We were not in South Africa one hundred years ago when Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ; it’s you Christians I don’t like. You Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Still, what they saw exists today.
There is far too much division in our Church and our homes. Imagine how brightly the Church would shine if every family were to dedicate themselves to unity. Imagine how attractive the Church would be if we put aside legalism and made it our highest priority to love each other as brothers and sisters. Imagine how magnetic the Church would be if we put aside judgments and looked upon each other as children of God who are trying their best to live out the command to love God and each other. Unity doesn’t mean agreeing on every issue. It means honouring and respecting everyone -including those we disagree with. That’s because, as the Catechism teaches, the dignity of every human person doesn’t depend on whether we like each other. It depends on the fact that we have all been created in the image and likeness of God. Of course, the idea of unity in our parishes can sound nearly impossible. But that’s not a problem for God; nothing is impossible with him. So take St. Paul’s words today, and make them your own. Make it your goal to be in unity with everyone, especially within your family.