Praying for a country that’s not quite a ‘United States’

March 28, 2017

I find it super troubling that our nation seems to be divided now more than ever. We were founded as a nation because there were so many people from so many different places that we had to unite to survive. We have even survived a Civil War that almost tore this country apart! But today, our nation is once again very divided.

I do not intend for this to be a political commentary, but rather a plea for all of us to invite the Prince of Peace to reign down His love on our nation. We need Jesus. The United States needs to relearn how we are to love, forgive and dialogue with each other after the model of the King of the Universe.

I am often appalled at how much hate we currently have in our country. It seems like no one is able to listen to each other because we are all so busy despising the ideas of people who differ from ours. We have lost the ability to have a civil discussion about philosophical or political differences and it is threatening to tear our nation apart. I find it troubling because the rifts between people only seem to be getting worse.

It is much easier to identify the problem than it is to offer a solution, but here are some of my reflections that might help us seek to once again be part of a United States of America.

First of all, we need to pray. We need to pray for the leaders of this nation that they can set their differences aside and work for the common good. We need to pray that the love of Christ might come into the hearts of lawmakers and those who lead us. Jesus can do amazing things if we invite Him into our lives and I think, if we renew our prayers for our nation and our world, we will see a difference.

We also need to try to have dialogues and discussions with those who have differing opinions than ours. So many times, we write people off who have a different view than ours that we cheat ourselves out of hearing where they are coming from or why they feel the way they do.

How different would the ministry of Jesus have been if He didn’t dialogue with those who were sinners? We would have missed out on encounters like Zacchaeus, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. Jesus took the time to talk with people who had differing lives than His and was able to change their lives. Maybe if we entered into dialogue with those who have different ideas than ours, Jesus will help change our lives and help us be united.

We need Jesus teach us to be united. We need His help to set aside all the things that cause divisions among us so we can work together for peace and justice for all people! 

Father T.J. Dolce is the director of the Archdiocesan Office of Vocations.