Naivety for the Nativity.

UnityNaïvety for the Nativity.

 

How much Christology, how much Ecclesiology and how much Sacramental

Theology did Mary have as she brought Jesus into this world?

 

This nativity I want to be simple and naïve.  This child is born and the night before he died he prayed, 

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.” John 17. 20-22

 

This was just after the institution of the Eucharist.

 

How is it then that we can sit down and share a meal with people who hold different beliefs from ourselves on politics or economics or gay marriage and, without aggression, talk and enjoy sharing the meal.  In our pluralistic society we do this frequently and we can do so in love, not confusing love with differences of opinion.  This is in the “world”: unbaptised and materialistic.

 

Why is it, then, that those who believe fully the fundamentally in

“the personal love of God who became man, who

gave himself up for us, who is living and who

offers us his salvation and his friendship. ”  [Evangelii Gaudium 99]

cannot share the same table and eat His body and drink His blood together as he asked us to do?    

                 

 

I want to let the child in me be naïve, to accept in love and trust my fellow Christian, whatever his/her colour, however they understand the Trinity or dislike statues, or think in their human heads that the bread and wine changes substantially or represents symbolically the body and blood of Jesus.  To the child in me these things make no sense, they are things which adults argue about and war over.

All I want is to love, to belong to this great family that God cares for, to give joy to the world, to let God live in me and me in Him and to celebrate this life I have, to take care of the world into which I have been born, to contribute what I can from where I am, to share the Good News and to eat at the same table as he told me to.

In my naïvety I listen to Francis saying,

“Spiritual worldliness leads some Christians to war with other Christians

who stand in the way of their quest for power, prestige, pleasure and economic security.

Some are even no longer content to live as part of the greater Church community but stoke

a spirit of exclusivity, creating an “inner circle”. Instead of belonging to the whole Church in

all its rich variety, they belong to this or that group which thinks itself different or special.” (Evangelii Gaudium 98)

In my naïvety, I went one summer to Iona.  Nobody asked me if I was a Catholic or Protestant, Episcopalian or Orthodox, or Calvinist or Lutheran.  The priest was a woman, the Eucharist full of love and unity, the preparation a work of the heart directed in compassion towards the needs of others throughout the world and, after a week gathered together, we left, scattered to America, Australia, Asia and Europe to continue by prayer and by example to share the Good News so that others might believe in Him.

In my naïvety I don’t see any need for more commissions, dialogue or debate before  we share the Eucharist.  We need to share the Eucharist first and around the table learn from each other the wonderful richness of our differences which in reality do not divide but complement.  Let us be one in all innocence.

 

 

 

Iona Abbey, ecumenism at work, hosted by the Church of Scotland.
Iona Abbey, ecumenism at work, hosted by the Church of Scotland.