When you’re Christian but can’t tolerate others’ perspectives…

When you’re Christian but can’t tolerate others’ perspectives…
An estimated 6,000 people attend Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s annual Pentecost recollection at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, June 4, 2017. JESCOM

QUEZON City – Convinced you’re always right? This is a red flag, warned Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during his annual Pentecost recollection, on June 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“When you can no longer stand someone who thinks differently, it means something…,” said the prelate to some 6,000 attendees from lay organizations, religious communities, schools, and seminaries.

According to Tagle, once a person wants conformity in all aspects, that person wants nothing but “a very subtle dictatorishp” because a genuine community “has space for diversity and in the Church that diversity comes from the Holy Spirit.”

One body, many gifts

Expounding on the theme “One Body in Christ”, Tagle said: “Unity and diversity are not opposed to each other. Sometimes, we think that to be united, things have to be uniform. We should have the same style, the same preferences.”

He likened it to a family that thinks it will be united if all its members like ube ice cream.

On the contrary, explained Tagle, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of unity, “makes the different members one Body but that unity comes through diversity, the diverse gifts.”

Here, he draws inspiration from St. Paul who compared the Church, the Body of Christ, to a physical body, noting how each part uniquely plays a role for the health of the entire being.

“Our body can’t be made up of just eyes… That would be scary. When you ride a bus, the person beside you is made up just of eyes, it also can’t be that one is just all nose,” explained Tagle in Filipino, with his signature humor.

The set-up is not just ridiculous, said the prelate, but impossible. “Actually, [the body] will not survive if it’s just all nose or eyes. That body has different members, but St. Paul talks about not just members but spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to the Body, one Body with many gifts from the Holy Spirit,” he added.

Unity in diversity

According to Tagle, it is the various gifts given to the many members that build up the Church, describing how halo-halo, a beloved Filipino dessert, becomes so delicious because of its varied ingredients: beans, plantains, fresh milk, ice cream, leche flan (a rich custard), among others.

“That’s the kind of unity we crave: mouth-watering! How boring it’d be if unity only had one face, one way of thinking,” he stressed.

To further his point, Tagle went so far as to urge his listeners to stop looking for “like-minded” individuals when forming committees for church projects.

“Because you are of only one mind, there’s no creativity!” he said.

Tagle exhorted the crowd not to fear division, saying: “Unity coming from the Spirit, diversity coming from the same spirit and you don’t have fear because the spirit of diversity is the same spirit that guarantees unity.”

The recollection ended with a Mass, presided over by Tagle and concelebrated by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco. CBCPNews