Solidarity

Gospel reading at today’s Holy Mass seems eerily familiar.  We just heard it a Sunday Mass 3 ½ weeks ago. Lord Jesus explaining the Ten Commandments.

Christian morality all begins with the fundamental truth: “I am the Lord, your God.”  That sentence is enough, really, to indicate all the demands of Christian morality.  The Sermon on the Mount just spells things out.

piusxii

Do not murder, do not despise, do not yell at people. Do not nurse so much as the smallest grudge.

Why?  Because God will judge justly. He is the Lord our God. He is everybody’s God.  Judging other people’s souls is above our pay-grade.  We are much better suited to kneeling down and begging God for mercy, for me personally and for the whole human race.

Also: the Lord, our God, will provide. He provides what we need.   So we don’t have to fight amongst ourselves.  We don’t have to contend for what we think we ought to have, to wrench it out of the hands of someone else.  God will give us our sufficient portion.  Our job is to be friends, as best we can.

The Catholic buzzword is “solidarity.” Might be a buzzword, but it’s also a real thing. Pope Pius XII put it like this:

The law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity.

We are in this together. We are sinners together. We need Christ together. And we can and do successfully work together and accomplish great things together! When we have the humility to listen respectfully to each other, think of each other’s well-being, and learn to love each other. All of us have this in common: we are perfectly lovable shambling messes.

May we never think of another person as if he or she were a member of a different species. May we never give up hope on communication and concord. May I never forget that one thing, and one thing only, keeps me from going to hell like I deserve: God’s mercy.

And God’s extends that same exquisite mercy to even the smelliest, shrillest, nastiest, most altogether insufferable people in the world. So I had better do the same thing. Since I am one of the smelly, shrill, nasty, insufferable people.

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