Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Can We All Get Along?


We are told that the apostles went from fearful to fiery in just a moment as they received the Holy Spirit on the Jewish feast of Pentecost.

We know that some of them witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and death, while others only heard the gruesome details. We can relate to the fear that they must have suffered as they gathered together, perhaps in the Upper Room, perhaps waiting for the same ugly fate to befall them.

In the book of Acts we read that “suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.”

Filled with the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit! What a day that must have been!

We are encouraged to let our light shine, and we are able to do that because we are filled with the light of Holy Spirit. And we are told that our bodies are Its temple.

That’s a lot to take in, but if we really believe that our bodies house the Divine, then we should be able to radically change the way we live our lives. That’s our first challenge, but it’s possible because, as my pastor says, “The Holy Spirit is our source of holiness.”

Our second challenge might be even harder. If we believe in our hearts that the Holy Spirit fills us, then we must look at those around us and realize they are temples of the Holy Spirit as well.

How wonderful that is! How life-changing!

How challenging. How difficult.

How do we start?

Do you remember Rodney King? He died in 2012, and our memories of him are starting to fade. He was involved in a high-speed car chase in Los Angeles; and when he was stopped, he was beaten by police officers. Someone captured the violence on video, and a trial followed. 

It seems that King had great difficulties the rest of his life; but so many times I have remembered the simple question he asked of the people in our world, “Can we all get along?”

Yes, I believe we can. And I believe the way for all six billion of us to get along is for each of us to see the goodness — the Divine — in every one around us.

First, we have to live lives that demonstrate that we believe God lives within us. Secondly – and, of course, more difficult — we have to believe that everyone else also is filled with the Divine.

When we do that – when we shine our light and we respect the light in others – then, perhaps, we can all get along.