The first reading speaks of conflict. The conflict is one between Jewish Christians and Greek Christians. It is a conflict between progressives and conservatives; between Those who want to remain and those who want to go. It was a church of tension and a church of conflict.

The opposite can be found in the gospel. Here, there is no conflict. It is so idyllic and nice to hear the words, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” What more can you ask for I am the vine and you are the branches. And yet these two realities of tension and communion are only two sides of one coin we call the Church.

The Lord did not say, “I am the vine and you are all branch.” He said, “You are the branches.” We are many branches, and as a result, we can have differences. We are many branches, and as a result, we are unique from one another. Because we are many, because we are different from one another, there could, indeed, be tension in our relationships. But the key, my dear brothers and sisters, is that if all branches are attached to the vine – the Lord – we have communion despite our differences.

Right now as we celebrate the Eucharist, as we sing songs and make our responses, we can indeed be like the vine and branches. We are different from one another, but are the same in what we receive – our Lord. After the Mass, we would still be different, but need not quarrel because of it
We already have a basis for our unity, which is the fellowship we have with our Lord.

Today, let us lift up to the Lord our relationships, Our friendships, our families, our hopes and our little communities in our offices. Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking the perfect Christian community is always without conflict. The Christian community is not spared from controversy. The Christian community thrives beyond controversy, in controversy, in conflict and decision, because our guiding force is God.

Acts 15:1-6 / Jn 15:5
Jesus In My Heart

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