I just finished watching his speech before both houses of Congress. I don’t know if anyone has spoken more hesitantly or haltingly from that podium. And yet, in simple language, the Pope urged our elected leaders to work for the common good, to abide by the Golden Rule, and address problems head on and in the spirit of cooperation and dialogue.
This week, we hear a story about the share of God’s spirit. In the Old Testament, God sends a share of his spirit he gave to Moses to 70 elders in the camp of the Israelites. Two of them, Eldad and Medad, didn’t quite follow the rules properly, but they still got some of the Spirit and prophesied. People complained that they weren’t doing things properly: Moses said, “I wish everyone in Israel was a prophet!”
The Pope is urging us to respect differences but to work in fraternity and mutual respect and compassion. This is the life of the church. There will always be differences. Sometimes these differences will lead to very painful places. But the work of the church is to remember that we all have received a share of God’s spirit, which moves as it wills and where it wills. God’s will is God’s own, not ours. So we are simply called to humility and service to one another.
That’s what being church together is all about. It isn’t easy. But it’s definitely worthwhile.
See you Sunday if not sooner,