On Sundays I preach at Annunciation Catholic Church on Massachusetts Avenue. This past Sunday I spoke about our life in an age of Globalization and a world economy–a world which young adults tend to be very aware of, a world of increased contact between faith traditions.
I noted that in dealing with our fellow Christians and with adherents of other faiths, we have special gifts to share and much to learn. Just as Christians down through the ages have learned a lot from the perseverance of the pagan Canaanite woman in the Sunday Gospel reading from St. Matthew, we have things to learn from others whose faith is different from our own.
God ways, of course, as not our ways. God does not always operate according to our plan. God’s truth can come to us from sources that seem–to us–to be unlikely, like the woman in today’s gospel.
All of this is fairly common understanding for those of us involved in ecumenical and inter religious dialogue. I should not take it for granted.
I received many most positive comments after the mass. And I, for the first time I can remember, received an email about it.. It seems that a young woman I know was driving by the church just as the mass was beginning and decided all of a sudden to stop rather than attend a later mass elsewhere. [I emailed back that perhaps the Holy Spirit was at work.]
Her email said that what I said was just what she needed to hear–a most positive view of others, a respect for people of other faith and a realization that we can learn from others and share our faith with them as well.