Today we celebrate the day (31st October 1517) that Martin Luther nailed on the doors of Witternburg Cathedral 95 theses that initiated in Europe a process of both reformation and division.
What we must do is celebrate what is good that came out of the Reformation and face this phase of history in a true light of reasoning.
I have prayed long and hard over the last 2 years concerning where we are going as a universal Church. There are two realities which God shows me clearly. He shows me a heavenly Vision and a earthly reality. The two do not meet yet.
The heavenly Vision is found in Jesus teaching and in Revelation where the Church is presented as a Bride. The earthly reality is that we are deeply divided.
The division goes beyond doctrine. It goes into ecclesiastical structure, how we see the Holy Spirit activated in the midst of the saints. And as we look back over the centuries back to the 2nd century we draw a curtain over it as being the “dark ages”. We accept the narrative that God stopped moving after the apostles died. We accept the current trends as all part of God’s renewing work. We accept some modernist view of Church.
Today we need not just reformers but unifiers of the Body. Those who are specially gifted in bringing people together. Specially gifted in teaching doctrine that unifies and not divides. Ministering from a Holy fear, of order and of divine design.
Martin Luther set in motion forces of supernatural renewal but there were also malignant forces of division released. When we look at saints who belong to certain types of Churches with disdain we miss the whole spirit of humility.
Let us embrace daily renewal and reformation and may we reach out to unify the Church under one head, one Spirit, One Baptism, one Vocation. May we become more than reformers,may we become unifiers of faith, its expression, its devotion, its worship.