When one is watching TV on his/her own, one can watch any station for any reason. Once the person is joined by just one single person, the scenario changes completely. One cannot watch any station in the new situation. There are two people now. They have to discuss what are they going to watch. Most probably two people have different tastes and ideas about what to watch.

In the church we are still individuals. Most people think about themselves and God. Whenever one starts meeting others for faith talks, one starts seeing cracks. The others don’t understand me; they label me; I feel threatened. This is just some of the comments that we priests witness when trying to gather together a flock. I thought that it was only when it comes to face to face meetings. No, it’s online too. When we don’t see eye to eye we start fighting!

Some people might think that they have lost their faith as they see Christians fighting each other. Well, let’s be blunt: fighting between Christians is not a good publicity at all and under certain principles it shouldn’t exist at all. Yet, if one reads the bible regularly and in a prayerful mode, one discovers many instances where fighting becomes the order of the day; whether it’s physical, emotional or on any other level!

There is never a dull moment in the bible. It happened to Christ himself. He wanted to start His church. He could have done it all alone with no mistakes, perfect method and perfect publicity. Maybe it would have progressed with no hiccups! But that’s our human mind who does not want to face any difficulties, sicknesses, challenges and different opinions then the ones held in our grey matter.

Christ himself chose Peter. He was surely not the diplomatic or ideal person at all with no academical qualifications! Sincerely, who would have chosen Peter out of all people? From the practical point of view there were others who were more qualified for the job. Yet Christ chose Peter. We can never comprehend God’s will 100%.

Reflecting on such events one may come to some interesting points. Is the job of Peter so important after all? Who is in command of the church: Peter or God? Who can perform more than humans: Peter or God? If the church were to be based on human beings, it would have already collapsed! Yet it has a unique long history of at least 2000 years. Is this not a miracle in itself?

Some people might have lost faith after the sexual abuse scandal which turned out to be incredibly universal. Yet it’s not the first time that the church has faced such difficult situations. If one mentions the case when the Pope had six illegitimate sons….when we had two Popes at the same time…when the Pope was more similar to a king than a real shepherd and had attacked and conquered other nations…. when the Vatican was going to be attacked during World War II…

In the bible we have one of the earliest quarrels in the church when both Peter and Paul had totally different opinions about the process of joining the church itself!

We have just seen one aspect: the lack of cohesion and agreement in the ‘crowd’ mentality. How about advantages? Could one have all the ideas of the world in his mind? Could one have all the talents, the spiritual power, the will to help the church? Surely not. That’s why we need the others. Besides there Christ’s words that when two or three people are gathered in his name, He is there, present.

The idea of a team is that a good coach studies each and every member and puts him/her in the right place. It’s useless if we start pointing out the bad side of each person. Jesus is in command of His church. We have to pray more in order to see things from God’s point of view. He knew about his apostles’ weak side, yet He chose those twelve in order to kick start his greatest project on earth – the church. Shall we start dissecting his apostles to look out for defects? Or shall we accept them as God’s messengers?

When facing other people in the church, yes we’re going to meet with sins, fragility, incompetence, hard headed people etc…..yet they are all in God’s wonderful hands who can transform a cemetery into a living group of people! He is God of the impossible and not just of that which is possible!

From our experience, being responsible of a parish, we always tried to find people for particular jobs whilst having a blind eye for their defects. One who talks a lot might be used to transmit quick and urgent messages in the parish! One who was good in projects undertaking was used to conduct projects in the parish. One who was full of peaceful thoughts was brought in when having arguments etc…

If one wants to meet the new baby Jesus in the coming months, why not make a list of positive aspects about your ‘enemy’!!! If you want to dig deeper, why don’t you go for the second step: how can we use your positive side and his/her positive side to the benefit of the church?