On Saturday night I attended an interfaith gathering at the local Mosque here in Darwin. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others were present.
A number of speakers shared their reflections.
When I spoke, I said that we do not agree about a number of things. We all need to be true to our beliefs. We can agree to disagree, but we must do so respectfully. Anything less than being respectful is certainly not being faithful to our beliefs.
During a Q & A session people spoke frankly about the recent awful killings in France where a teacher was beheaded.
Muslin leaders were very strong in denouncing the violence that happened there by some claiming it to be in the name of Islam.
When I looked around those gathered there, I saw such a diversity of ethnic backgrounds!
Many of the young people there had so many challenges ahead of them.
Certainly, for us Christians there is no ambiguity whatsoever about our belief in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and about the beliefs of our Catholic Christian faith.
The best way that we can help others discover our beliefs is by living them.
Jesus asked us to be “Light of the World and Salt of the Earth”.
When we truly love God with our whole being, and love our neighbour as ourselves, we are witnessing to our faith.
When we live by our moral principles and ethical practices, we bear witness to our faith.
God must be very happy to see his children truly respect each other.
Some things were said by others with which I do not agree. However, they were said in a truly respectful manner.
When we do not listen to each other.
When we forget that we share a common humanity with all.
When we forget that what is not intimate and most personal is not universal.
When we do not get true facts but are led by rumour.
When we are trapped in the past and do not give the Holy Spirit a chance to help us grow.
There we foster bigotry and division and allow the extremists to win in their divisive propaganda.