Lord, in your great love, answer me. — Psalm 69:14
Mass readings: Romans 11:29-36 / Luke 14:12-14
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-Five Theses” on the church door at Wittenberg, Germany. Most Catholics and many Protestants assume that Luther’s statements lambasted the Catholic Church and arrogantly announced that he was officially saying good riddance to it and the Pope. Not even close. Most of the theses dealt with the abuse of indulgences, especially selling them.
As years passed, Luther developed a theology of salvation which appeared drastically at variance with the Catholic position. Both sides dug in and engaged in theological trench warfare. On Oct.31, 1999, however, Catholic and Lutheran church leaders signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Salvation. As Pope John Paul II noted in his encyclical on ecumenism, we’ve come a long way — but we can’t stop now.
Prayer: Lord, help us always to respect others’ beliefs but never compromise our own.