Last Friday, I had lunch with a friend of mine, the Pastor of the Concordia Lutheran Church on the end of 183rd St. in Cerritos. I became fast friends with him and we decided to make this lunch as regular part of our monthly schedules.
In our conversations I learned a lot about Lutherans. There is a reason why there is a lot of positive dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans and that is, we agree on a lot of stuff. I had told him that one of my favorite YouTube channels is Lutheran Satire and a lot of their videos (a lot but alas, not all) can be used to defend our own catholic beliefs, albeit with a lot of humor. We often have a picture of Martin Luther as the ultimate anti-Catholic demagogue but a close study of his belief reveals that if you brush aside his hot headed German side, we are closer than we think.
I had been mentioning before that I have a brother who is a Pastor of an Evangelical Church. It is obvious that we do not agree on certain doctrinal matters (we have much more things in common with Lutherans) but I am quite close to my brother. Instead of highlighting the things that set us apart, we talk about our common ground.
Our world today is torn by a lot of violence and hatred. We would think that our “global village,” made even smaller by the burgeoning internet, would be more understanding of each other. Instead, we have spawned an army of people who are trolling each other because of competing beliefs, politics and ideologies.
Today is Trinity Sunday and we are given the opportunity by the Church to reflect on this great mystery of our God, whose innerlife is revealed to us by Jesus in the Gospels. We believe in a Triune God – three persons in one God. Our imagery of God reflects that one thing we lack as Christians and as human beings, unity. Jesus himself prayed: “so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us” (John 17:21).
We will always have common ground. It can be expressed in different ways in our lives but we will always have something in common with each other. Let us seek that which binds us rather than simply pointing out our differences. If that is so, then we can all take a step closer in being in the image of our God, three persons, One God.
- Fr. John