Building Relationship With People Of Other Beliefs
God’s plan at the beginning of Creation was man and woman living in loving harmony with each other, with the animal kingdom, with the natural environment and with the Creator. (Genesis 2:18-25). St. Francis’ with his humble love, truth, honesty and passion for peace closely portrayed God’s vision for mankind.
When God’s plan was shattered by the forces of evil, He sent his Son Jesus to bring love and peace, to restore harmony, and “to gather into one the dispersed children of God” (John 11:52).
‘ Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 7:21)."
“ For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me." Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?" And the King will answer…..” Matthew 27: 35-40
Do you Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength?
St. Francis of Assisi caught God’s vision and gave it new life. He once summed up the mission of the community he founded. “ Brothers,” he said, “we have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
What if we also took this desire seriously? What if we made it the central project for our lives? Could we commit ourselves to the way of healing and reconciling? All of us have the capacity to develop some simple, ordinary ways of carrying a spirit of love, unity, peace and reconciliation into all our relationships.
With Francis of Assisi, “We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” It is tempting to shift responsibility to those who have special expertise or are in positions of authority instead of doing our part. It seems too complicated and overwhelming for us. But complexity and difficulty do not excuse us from our own individual efforts.
With each person we meet, we should look beyond the surface, beyond the external qualities that seem to divide us—to the core of each person, the sacred center where God resides, and show them His unconditional love.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is doubt, let me sow faith; Where there is injury, let me sow pardon; Where there's discord, let me sow unity;
Where there is error, let me sow the truth; Where there is despair, let me sow hope; Where there is sadness, let me sow joy; Where there is darkness, let me sow the light.
O Master, that I may not seek to be consoled , but to console; Not to be understood, but to understand; Not to be loved , but rather to love;
For it is in giving , that we will receive; And in forsaking, that we truly gain; By forgiving, that we are forgiven ; And in dying…