From The Catholic Register
(Sharanya Tiwari is a Grade 11 Catholic high school student of Hindu faith. Out of all the entries, it was her essay on Christians united in “their rich faith in Christ” that set her apart from the others in the annual Friars’ Student Writing Award held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.)
In a society where divisions exist within particular religions, even the strongest believers can have difficulty understanding their faith. They may even underestimate their spiritual worth.
Today, there are many denominations within Christianity. However, despite these many denominations, one indisputable similarity exists between all Christians — their faiths can be traced back to Jesus Christ. According to 1 Peter 2:1-10, those who entrust their faith in Jesus are the building blocks of God’s spiritual house.
For devoting their complete faith in Christ, Christians can be considered these building blocks. Thus, despite divisions within Christianity, Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants should all be considered a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own people.
In the above verse, the apostle Peter compares the coming of Christ with the laying of a stone. Many neglected the message of Christ. They viewed the stone as an obstacle on their path. But others saw the stone as the foundation of the Kingdom of God on Earth. These people form the present day Christian denominations that, in spite of varying social classifications, have treasured the love of Christ in their heart.
This raises the following question: since the message of Christ is central in Christian denominations, are all Christians an integral part of the Christian faith? The answer is a resounding, yes. Each Christian represents a building block in the spiritual house of God.
Houses cannot be constructed with a few building blocks. Similarly, God’s spiritual house is not constructed with the faith of just a few Christians. It is constructed with the collective faith of the numerous Christian denominations. They are appointed to protect his house by acting in unity with one another. They are chosen to evangelize the foundational truth of the Gospels. This makes Christians a royal priesthood and a chosen race.
Furthermore, the apostle Peter mentions that God’s own people are called to proclaim his mighty acts. This is evident in Christian denominations since they strive to preserve their traditions and values through sacraments and prayer. This is an act of proclaiming that is performed by all Christians. For this reason, Christians foster a holy nation where the Word of God prevails.
Their rich faith in Christ entitles all Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own people. It is imperative that Christians understand that regardless of which denomination they belong to, they play the vital role of shaping the spiritual house of God.
They are chosen to prevent his spiritual house from disintegrating in the present generation of ignorance and disbelief. They must not become preoccupied with comparisons concerning their denominations and that of others. By doing so they may fail to recognize, much less fulfill, God’s plan. Instead, they must continually act in unison and fulfill their ultimate goal as God’s people. Their goal involves cherishing God’s love and magnificence, now and always.