We are one. We, the People of God, are one body. There is one baptism, one Gospel of Jesus Christ, one Spirit that binds us together as one. We have one Lord, one Church, on Eucharist whom we share. We are one in the Lord.
Yes, there are differences among us. Different ways we go about living out the faith. We may appear differently, pray differently, dress differently, have different vocations within this one Body of Christ, but differences ought not separate us. I repeat, differences need not separate!
It pains me greatly (and I exagerate not in saying so) when someone comes up to me and says, “I am leaving the faith. I no longer want to be a member of the Church. I am separating myself from all of that.” Great pain. My immediate thought always is, “Stay! We need you with us!”
Remain with the Body of Christ, united in the Holy Spirit, united by baptism.
St. John has left us a wonderful gift in his recording of Jesus’ lengthy prayer to the Father on the night before his Passion, when repeatedly He prays that His Church remain united, as He is united to the Father and the Father to Him. He prayed that the Church remain one in the bond of the Holy Spirit, just as the Blessed Trinity in one. Jesus reminds us that separation from the Body of Christ is the result of the Evil One, the devil, who always tries to deceive us into separating ourselves from the Body by being complicite with sin. Jesus tells us that the truth consecrates us and lies separate us. Truth comes from the Father; lies from the devil. Truth unites; lies separate.
My friends, we are one. We are one body. We are needed and wanted in that one body which is the Church.
Never let differences separate us. Never!