On our coins is inscribed the motto E Pluribus Unum, which means, “out of many, one”. This is a shorthand way of recognizing that, though we are made of many different peoples from around the world, we are one nation. In a more profound way, St. Paul has expressed a similar thought in today's second reading (from 1 Corinthians). And he is only restating – in a different way – what the Lord Himself prayed for: that we might all be one. Factions within the Church are not a new phenomenon. Right from the beginning there were squabbles and disputes. But we must never allow disagreements, which are frequently over petty things, distract us from the unity which Christ desires for us. That unity of faith and practice is preserved when we submit ourselves humbly to Christ and to His Church. Christ established His Church upon Peter and the Apostles, whose successors are Pope Francis and the bishops in union with him. It is good to recall that Bishop William Callahan is also a successor to the Apostles. Pray that he might continue to be a good and holy shepherd; and that we might humbly follow his lead.
As you read this I am in the Holy Land with a group of 24 pilgrims. I am most privileged to be making my seventh journey to visit the places made holy by our Lord: to Nazareth, where He was conceived by the Holy Spirit within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; to Bethlehem, where He was born; to Capernaum, Cana, Mount Tabor and other places where He revealed his Glory, taught, healed the sick, multiplied the loaves and fish, and raised the dead to life; and to Jerusalem where He suffered, died, and was raised gloriously from the dead. Please pray for our Holy Land Pilgrims, both for their safe travels and for their spiritual renewal. And be assured of my prayers for all the people of Saints Peter & Paul Parish while I visit the Land where our Savior Jesus Christ procured our salvation.
My thanks again to Msgr. Robert Hundt, who is filling in for me this weekend, and to Frs. Menzel and Becker who are celebrating the weekday Masses while I am in Israel.
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller