Marilyn Bergeron: Learning from each other, working together

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Ecumenism. What does this really mean? Why is this important?

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If you’re like me, maybe you haven’t given it much thought, or you just haven’t quite understood it. I’m just starting to.

The goal of ecumenism is to promote unity among the Christian churches of the world. Jesus gave us this commandment the night before his crucifixion when he prayed “that all may be one, as he and his father are one in the Holy Spirit.”

He prayed that, four different times. His purpose was “that the world may believe that you (God, his Father) have sent me”.

The human idea of ​​oneness is uniformity – everyone thinks, dresses, acts the same. God’s view is quite different. He made us unique, each individual has received different gifts and talents, so we need each other.

Divisions in the church are not new. In Jesus’ day there were Pharisees and Sadducees who divided believing Jews. Some followed Jesus and some did not.

Since then we have seen the division within the Catholic Church with the Orthodox, Greek, Oriental and other rites. Then came the Reformation and Protestantism in the 16the century.

Developed from five or six main branches, the divisions have grown exponentially. Today, it is estimated that there are over 34,000 independent and non-denominational churches according to ARDA, the Association for Archives of Religious Data.

Is it any wonder that we don’t have the necessary impact on our world?

Despite these divisions, we have much more in common within Christianity than with the rest of the world. We all believe and worship Jesus as our Savior. We read his word in our Bibles. We share a similar credo. We believe in eternal life. We recognize the gifts of the Holy Ghost. We also have a growing understanding of the need for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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Pope John Paul II commented that these divisions may have been authorized by God as “a path continually leading the church to discover the untold riches contained in the gospel of Christ …”

Protestant Bible scholars have written beautiful explanations of Bible passages that help us as Catholics better understand the word of God.

The Pope went on to say: “It is necessary for humanity to achieve unity through plurality, to learn to come together as one Church, even presenting a plurality of ways of thinking and acting, of cultures and of cultures. civilization ”.

There are changes happening. Wonderful changes!

There is a revival in the Catholic faith of the understanding and belief in healing and miracles. Jesus was very explicit when he sent his apostles and then the 72 disciples. He said, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Tell them that the Kingdom of God is near.

This was the normal expectation for several hundred years of Christianity. Then somehow he was lost.

Jesus put no time limit on his promises. Thanks to our evangelical and Pentecostal brothers and sisters, we see these things happening again today.

As Catholics, we learn from them to be more open to the power and amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thanks to God!

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There have been great ecumenical gatherings across the United States and around the world, conferences where speakers, both Catholic and Evangelical, share the podium and teach the power of God! is promises. His promises.

It is ecumenism! Learn from each other. Work together in unity of purpose – to spread the good news to the nations, to bring healing to the sick and oppressed. It does not mean rejecting our own teaching, our own beliefs.

It means not to criticize and belittle other Christian beliefs. We have a lot to learn from other Christian denominations while holding fast to our own Catholic teachings.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t work where there’s disunity. We need the power of the Holy Spirit, so we need to find a way to unite as Christians. Only then will we make a real difference in our world which is in desperate need of knowing the love and salvation of Jesus.

Could we work together on community outreach projects and show a more united front to the world and to the Holy Spirit so that he can come in power? Can we be friends and celebrate the gifts of each of us? Can we put the gospel into practice in the marketplace with love and charity?

Let’s do it!

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