Are You Inclusive?
What is Religious Pluralism? The short definition would be that all religions end up on the same path towards salvation, that everyone starts from inside their own faith and works outwards. It's an interesting idea, though many religions, or most religions, will not make it past the stage of inclusivity, believing their religion is dominate, but there's possibility for those in other beliefs to seek salvation. Now coming from a Catholic background, there are certain doctrines which make it difficult to sit down to discussions with other beliefs, let alone be inclusive. However, our world is getting better, taking steps. Think about it, God made each and every human in reflection of hid love, and goodness, for a purpose. If we can remember this fact when we talk with those who have a similar, yet different mindset, then we can be more open to learning and including everyone, as Jesus tells us to do.
Today's First Reading states:'But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones'(Wisdom 3:1-9).
In today's reading, we hear how we are all in God's hand, the good, the bad. Those who trust will find truth. Think about the story of the good samaritan. The sick man was hurting injured, and even his own people walked past him. Yet, one who's people opposed him came, helped him and healed him. We spend so much time talking against those who are different from us, especially when it comes to religious perspectives. Only God knows what is right. We should believe in our religion, yes, full-heartedly, but take time to understand others. Take some time to reflect on where you can be more open-minded and inclusive. You can learn from them too, for God is with all people, not just those who feel they are dominate.
Today's prayer comes from online, a prayer for worldly tolerance :
Teach us, God, to treasure the differences that distinguish one person from another. Fill us with the strength to overcome senseless fear and hatred. Open our hearts to the radiance that shines forth from every human soul. Inspire us to shed our apathy; remind us that it is our obligation to be responsible for one another. Open our ears to the cries of all who are in need of our assistance. Give us the courage to combat prejudice and intolerance wherever they exist. Teach us to see each other through Your eyes, God. In Your eyes all people are equally loved, equally precious. Bless us all, God, with compassion, with kindness, and with peace. Amen.