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"...Learn To Live Together...Or Perish As Fools"

There is a story about a group of shipwrecked people adrift in a long, narrow lifeboat. The boat is so long that people in the front think of themselves as the “front” people and those in back think of themselves as the “back” people. One day the front of the boat develops an uncontrollable leak. A man in the back of the boat says to the woman next to him, “Thank God that leak is in the front. If it were in the back, we’d be doomed.” That story contains an important lesson for all of us. The world is our boat and we are all in it together. More than ever before in history we understand hopefully, that when something happens somewhere else in the world it affects all of us in one way or another, big or small. When COVID-19 started in China, it didn’t stay there, as we all too sadly know. If the rain forest in the Amazon doesn’t produce enough oxygen, we all will suffer. If the ice caps in the polar regions melt, the whole world will be affected. If people in one part of our country are denied their human rights or find it impossible to receive justice, the foundations of our society are weakened for all of us. St. Paul’s famous teaching about the Body is applicable here. He says that each one of us is a member of the Body of Christ and we all have our own function to perform. If we don’t fulfill it well, then the whole body is diminished. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said so tellingly, “We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.”


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