Michael Bellucci Photo by Ruane Remy

Teach all peoples, of all nationalities, the word of God [2015 Friars' Essay 3rd place]

By  Michael Bellucci, Catholic Register Special
  • January 29, 2015

Editor’s note: this is the third place essay in the annual contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Michael Bellucci is a student at Toronto's Bishop Allen Academy.

The passage of John 4: 1-42 tells us how Jesus travelled to Samaria and did an almost unspeakable thing for that time. He associated himself with a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans had a long-standing prejudice towards each other and they never got along. When Jesus went to a well to get water, He spoke with a woman who was not only a Samaritan, but had five husbands and was looked down upon in her community. When Jesus spoke to the woman, even she was astonished He was talking to her.

Jesus spread the Word of God to all peoples, no matter their age, gender, race or social class. Living in the modern age where religious values have seemed to diminish, we as Christians can take a lot from this.

To speak to the Samaritan woman and share with her His wisdom and teachings, Jesus crossed many social barriers. This passage teaches us that this is what we must do in order to spread the word. We have to go beyond society’s barriers in order to unify all Christians. Once Jesus made clear to the woman that He was the Messiah, she spread the word to her community. Having an unclean reputation amongst the people, it was extremely courageous for her to say that the Son of God spoke to her. She could have been ridiculed or even accused of blasphemy. This shows us that our unity brings out the courage of each one of us, and that further strengthens the bond that we all share.

In today’s society, Christian unity is not seen as something relevant, and for the most part, other things are put in front of our Christian identity. The way Jesus spread His teachings are not the way that we would do now, but we must still continue what He left off with. By respecting and being kind to others we are all following what Jesus instructed us to do, which is to: teach all peoples, of all nationalities, the word of God. Even though people are losing their religious connection, it is our duty to live in the way Jesus taught us and to unite everyone under the faith. As Catholics this is a commitment, if not a covenant, that must be fulfilled.

We have to remember that we are sons and daughters of God and what our role is in this world. We have to understand that no matter how long it has been since Jesus' mission on Earth, we must not forget our mission and our promise to God. Finally from the words of Galatians 3:26-28: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

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