A reflection by Mary Marrocco in the Living Faith booklet for March 24.
"A division occurred in the crowd because of him... Then each went to his own house." -- John 7:43-53
ISN'T THIS WHY we become Christian, to get away from that world where everybody is in "his own house", to get out of division and conflict, and into communion and unity? Yet John shows Jesus at the center of strife, stirring up division and controversy!
God, I flee to your house as a refuge, but find that conflict and discord exist within it also. I recall how frequently the disciples wanted to abandon Jesus when they saw that staying with him meant going to tough places, internally and externally. Toughest of all, sometimes, is the pain within your Church itself. We Christians sometimes use your Word against one another, in parishes, among churches, in families and in society as a whole.
How, Lord, can we find holiness in following you, when all your followers--including me--are subject to evil and violence? Help me not to lose faith when confusion, anger and division seem supreme. You showed us that love is love in the flesh, love that feels the nails pierce bone and sinew, love that knows a strength hatred and violence cannot imagine. Teach us such love.