On Monday we considered the strange fact that the people in the pews need to be evangelized even before other people do. On Tuesday and Wednesday we considered two kinds of obstacle: Those which lie in the listeners, and those which lie in the proclaimers.
But the final obstacle to evangelizing Christians lies in the condition of Christendom itself. We are divided. Christ’s Body is torn.
But wait. We have been discussing evangelization, not ecumenism -- the cause of the Gospel, not the cause of Christian unity. Isn’t the end of the discussion a bad moment to change the subject?
I am not changing it. The two causes are joined. To suppose we can spread the word of God without unity in that word is arrogant folly.
You don’t have to take it from me. Christ’s last plea to His Father at His Last Supper with the disciples was “that they may become perfectly one,” and the reason He gave was “so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” The moral is plain. If we are not one in proclaiming Christ, the world will not recognize Him. If we are not one in proclaiming the Gospel, the world will find the Gospel very hard to hear.
What part of this message have we been blocking out? What sin or resentment or cherished conceit do we clutch so tightly that we cannot open our hands to God’s grace? In order to hear the whole Gospel, what must we let go?