As we read the news reports these days, one of the most obvious facts about our modern world is fragmentation, separation, people divided into separate, warring and competing groups. This tragic condition prevails at almost every level of life. One can observe it on our national scale these days. And we can observe it on the international scale as well. How many borders are there in this world that are watched on both sides by guards carrying guns? A carefully watched border can mean only one thing: the nations on either side are divided. Seems that people do not trust each other anymore!

But this division does not end at the border. Walk into the heart of any nation – ours included – and one will find all kinds of divisions there. Racial, economic, religious, social – even within many homes, the basic unit of every social order, there divisions prevail: husbands and wives hardly speaking to one another, parents and children with virtually no lines of communication between them. People made in the image and likeness of God, who ought to be in one another’s arms are instead at one another’s throats.

Sometimes we speak of this as a crazy world. That is an apt description in light of what goes on.

What this world seems to need is someone or something that can teach us how to live together in peace. St. Paul recognized this same need in his day and wrote about it in his letter to the Ephesians. He reminded them of the enmity that once existed between people. He called it “the barrier of hostility”. We humans build ‘walls’ between ourselves and others at times.

That wall then exists as a psychological and spiritual reality in the lives of men and nations. We desperately need St. Paul’s reminder that Christ has broken those walls down. In the very heart of the Christian message are some basic principles which, if properly understood, would bridge all of the gaps and break down all of the walls that separate people from people.

Sometimes it seems it would be a good idea to preach nothing but that until hopefully it sinks into and saturates the minds of us all. Most of the world believes in one God in theory. In practice it is another matter. How is it possible, then, for two people or two nations to go to war, both of them praying to the same God for the protection of their people and the victory of their cause?

Listen to St. Paul: “In His flesh He abolished the law to create in Himself one new man from us who had been two, and to make peace, reconciling both of us to God in one body through His cross which put that enmity to death”. You and I are blood brothers and sisters; and by that I do not mean the blood of a common parentage. I mean by the blood of Christ. He died for us all. How then can we stand in the shadow of that cross with a dying Jesus nailed to it, and hate each other and hurt each other, and even kill each other?

There is one God and Father of us all who makes us brothers and sisters. So let us look at the things we have in common. They will pull us together, not drive us apart.