April 28, 2024

Without some centre of unity, groups lose their way.
A team which puts its eyes on money rather than on teamwork will lose games.
A family which relies on anything other than love to keep it together will fall apart.
The church, the community of Jesus is something similar.

What keeps the church together at its best is Jesus.


Human leadership, moral authority, ritual dogmatism, are not the centre of the church. Leadership can fail, moral authority can take wrong turnings and ritual dogmatism can override the concerns of people. The centre of the church is Jesus Christ. Our unity with Jesus is the central bond of the church. He is the Vine, we the branches.

When we have been let down by the church, like in the situations of abuse, or cover-ups by church authority, we are kept going as Christians by our unity with Jesus.

The image of roots and branches, of fruit and tree, all very much part of each other, is what Jesus uses. Other images like this might be the unity or light and colour in a rainbow.

Only if we can look on Jesus Christ as the centre of our faith can church life be sincere and have the energy which will save and change our world.

Imagine yourself being with Jesus; just the two of you.
Share what is in your heart and listen to how his word echoes within you.
May we dwell in you, Lord, as you dwell in us.
Give us your peace, your energy, your joy.

Fr Donal Neary, S.J.