Tomorrow we begin our celebration of Holy Week with Palm Sunday. But on this last day before Holy Week we hear the prophecy from Ezekiel that Christians have always seen as fulfilled in Christ.
I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation upon the land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one prince for them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.
This unity which humanity had at creation in the goal toward which we must constantly strive. It begins in the individual heart, with each us us always and everywhere treating each person we encounter as brother and sister.
It should be a part of our parish where no Catholic is ever thought of as a visitor, but all are recognized as members of the one Church, baptized non-Catholics are members of the extended family, and the unbaptized are treated as honored guests who can never outstay their welcome.
Our nation must look at every other nation as friend or potential friend, all created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore worthy of respect. Even if others do not share this mindset, we as Christians must speak this truth.
We may not see it come to its fullness in our lifetime on earth, but we will see it.