May 20, 2005


No one should feel alienated or alone again

Faced with a divided world which is in search of unity, we must proclaim with joy and firm faith that God is communion, Father, Son and Spirit, unity in distinction, and that he calls all people to share in that same Trinitarian communion. We must proclaim that this communion is the magnificent plan of God the Father; that Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Lord, is the heart of this communion, and that the Holy Spirit works ceaselessly to restore it when it is broken. We must proclaim that the Church is the sign and instrument of the communion willed by God, begun in time and destined for completion in the fullness of the Kingdom” (The Church in America, #33).

As we celebrated the great Solemnity of Pentecost last Sunday, we were reminded once again that the gift of the Holy Spirit calls us to communion with Christ as members of the one family of God. The Risen Lord enters into our hearts, as he passed through the locked doors of the disciples’ upper room, and he invites us to be at peace. He shares with us his Holy Spirit and bestows on us the gift of his divine life.

Because we are united in Christ, no one ever needs to feel alienated or alone again. No one should ever find himself or herself on the margins of society because of poverty, extreme youth or old age, illness or social stigma. We are all called to unity and solidarity in Christ. We are brothers and sisters now—members of the one family of God.

And so we say to everyone who will hear us: Regardless of who you are, or where you came from, or what your economic or social status is, you belong with us here in central and southern Indiana. We are many diverse parishes but one local Church, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, in communion with all the other local Catholic Churches and with Pope Benedict XVI and the Universal Church. We are individuals and communities, single people and married, old and young, clergy, religious and lay people, wealthy, middle-income and poor. We are not isolated islands-unto-ourselves. We are one community of faith called to intimate union with God and with one another.

As Catholics, we are called to communion with Christ through prayerful reflection on the Word of God in the Scriptures, through active participation in the mission and ministries of the Church, and through frequent reception of the sacraments—especially the Holy Eucharist, the Lord’s most profound and intimate gift of himself to us.

With our Holy Father, the pope, and the whole Church, we proclaim with joy and a firm faith that no one ever needs to feel isolated or alone again. We, the Church of Christ, are here to welcome strangers, to feed the hungry, to heal the suffering and to comfort those who are distressed. Why? Because we are all one in Christ, with Christ and for Christ.

Now that Christ is risen and, with the Father, has sent the Holy Spirit, no one need ever be alone again.

— Daniel Conway

(Daniel Conway is a member of the editorial committee of the board of directors of Criterion Press Inc.)  

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