My very limited experience of domestic life has thought me that looking after young babies/children can be very hard work requiring great patience and self-sacrifice. Keeping the peace within our families and wider community can equally be very hard work requiring great patience and self-sacrifice!
St Paul is making a passionate appeal about this in today’s First Reading at Mass. It is of fundamental importance if the unity of the Body of Christ is to be preserved. Several of the Beatitudes in tomorrow’s gospel for All Saints Day speak of it: Blessed are the gentle, they shall inherit the earth; Blessed are the merciful, they shall have mercy shown them; Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God.
If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, So that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead. (Phil 2:1-4)