Rick Keating/Catholic SentinelMsgr. Richard Huneger shakes the hand of Madelein Ward during Easter vigil at St. Joseph Parish in Salem.

Rick Keating/Catholic Sentinel
Msgr. Richard Huneger shakes the hand of Madelein Ward during Easter vigil at St. Joseph Parish in Salem.

We are celebrating the risen Christ, who dwells with us all and who can electrify us all in equal measure. It’s a good time to put aside rivalry.

Let’s face it, there is tension and mistrust in the United States now, even within our beloved local church. In the Catholic community, as in any family, people stand in different political camps. That is inevitable. But we Christians should not define ourselves primarily by our politics.

Here’s what’s true: We all want to glorify Jesus Christ and help the world come to know him and act according to his teaching and will. Surely, given that basis, we can manage the details. Both sides of the political spectrum need to change on a point or two to more closely follow Catholic tradition.

At Easter Vigils around western Oregon, hundreds of people entered the church. No one asked them about their politics. All we know is that they had a thirst for a personal encounter with Jesus and in the Catholic Church found something akin to a deep drink.

As we pray for those who have joined us, let’s turn suspicion into Easter joy and revel in our bountiful, unifying tradition.