I am working my way through “On Fraternity and Social Friendship” by Pope Francis. An early section is an exposition of the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is heart wrenching to read this section in light of what happened a week ago at the Capitol and what is going on today in the House chamber.

We have lost sight of each other. We have lost sight of our ability to care, especially for those not like us.

Worse, maybe we’re being exposed by the reality that we never really cared for the other. We gave it lip service, but our actions have always been found hypocrital.

These words from Pope Francis:

“I sometimes wonder why, in light of this, it took so long for the Church unequivocally to condemn slavery and various forms of violence. Today, with our developed spirituality and theology, we have no excuses. Still, there are those who appear to feel encouraged or at least permitted by their faith to support varieties of narrow and violent nationalism, xenophobia and contempt, and even the mistreatment of those who are different. Faith, the humanism it inspires, must maintain a critical sense in the face of these tendencies, and prompt an immediate response whenever they rear their head. For this reason, it is important that catechesis and preaching speak more directly and clearly about the social meaning of existence, the fraternal dimension of spirituality, our conviction of the inalienable dignity of each person, and our reasons for loving and accepting all our brothers and sister.”

We need discipleship. One personal example I can give: Growing up “in church” I never was grounded thoroughly in sound theology of the Church. I have had to unlearn some things and learn new things.

I need discipleship. It is ongoing.

May we be willing to recognize our weakness and ask for the grace to keep growing in discipleship.

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