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  • Father David M. Knight

“No Man Is An Island”

Tuesday of week 7 in Ordinary Time, May 22, 2018

The first thing Pope Francis says about holiness is shocking. He says it is not an individual, private affair,

but a group enterprise!

“It has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as individuals without any bond between them, but rather as a people” (Rejoice and Be Glad, 6, citing Vatican II, “The Church,” 9).

Francis says getting holy is a communal experience!

In salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships that are formed in a human community. God wanted to enter into a cultural history, into the dynamic development of a people—Dios quiso entrar en una dinámica popular, en la dinámica de un pueblo.

People who prefer private “spirituality” to “religion,” and restrict themselves to individual interaction with God, shunning involvement with any “institutional church,” are simply not in tune with God.

Or with what it means to be human. John Donne said it classically:

No man is an island / Entire of itself…

Individualism is “insular” thinking: not Christian, not human, and certainly not divine. Even God is “completely himself” only in Three Persons!

If we want to get holy, we will have to do it as parts of a whole.

ACTION: Go to church every Sunday. Get involved.

PRAYER: Lord, make us one in your Spirit.


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