The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing

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By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

Pope Francis recently spoke at an interreligious gathering in Rome where he stressed the importance of sharing among people of various faith traditions. A delegation representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Jain had come to the Vatican to celebrate the inauguration of Pope Francis. The Pope stressed the importance of engaging in exchange of ideas and promoting friendship and respect among men and women of different religious faith traditions.  He also stressed the need to keep alive our thirst for the absolute.  He said too much violence has resulted from the attempt to eliminate God and the divine from people’s lives, both personal and social. To seek God is part of being fully human and continues to exist in the human heart. He urged his listeners to reach out to those who are not part of a faith community but who are searching for truth, goodness and beauty. Such people can be our valued allies in defending human dignity, and building a peaceful coexistence between people, and In safeguarding all creation.

The importance of Vatican Council !! was stressed by Pope Francis when he recalled the words of Blessed John XX!!!, who said in the opening address at the Council: “The Catholic Church considers it her duty to work actively for the fulfillment of the great mystery of that unity for which Jesus Christ prayed so earnestly to his heavenly Father, on of eve of His great sacrifice, the knowledge that she is so intimately associated with that prayer is for her an occasion of ineffable peace and joy.” 

Pope Francis prayed that “all would be enabled to live fully the faith graciously bestowed on them at the time of their Baptism, and to bear witness to it freely, joyfully and courageously. This would be the best solution we can offer for the cause of Christian unity, a service of hope for our world still torn by divisions, conflicts and rivalries. The more we are faithful to God’s will in our thoughts, words and actions, the more we will progress, really and substantially toward unity.”

Pope Francis thanked the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity and for the help it continues to provide. At the close of this gathering the Pope also expressed great appreciation to all the representatives of various faith expressions and assured all them of a remembrance in his prayers. He also prayed that more progress will be made in the fraternal dialog that the Council wished to encourage and that has already taken place in recent decades. Pope Francis reminded his listeners that there is so much we can accomplish together for the good of the whole human family, by creating a peaceful co-existence among people and caring for creation for generations still to come.

We can join in prayer that our efforts to accomplish the goals outlined by Pope Francis may bear fruit.  May each of us be willing to take the next step in working for Christian Unity in our time and place. May the Spirit guide us in this important endeavor.

A full report on this event is available in Origins CNS documentary Service, April 4th 2013 issue, Volume 42, Number 43 . CNS, 3211 4th St. NE, Washington, DC 20017-1100.

Preaching Essay Archive

Just click on an Essay title below to read it.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

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• Easter: A Call To Renew Our Faith •
• Fan Into Flame •
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• The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing •
• Are We Living In Pentecost Times? •
• Living With Gratitude and Hope •
• “Lumen Fidei” – the Call and the Challenge •
• What is the "New Evangelization"? •
• Pentecost •
• Inculturated Liturgy Challenges Preaching to Flower •
• Preaching Lent - Year C •
• Reflection - Psalm 127 •
• Reaching Youth Today •
• The Need To Reclaim And Live With Moral Courage •
• The Sacred Triduum •
• Welcoming the Stranger •
• Working for Peace •

Blessings on your preaching.

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