Aristotle tells us that “The human person is a political animal.” Those words are likely the best known of the philosopher’s. And they ring true to our human experience: We are meant for community.

In Paul’s letter to Philemon, he spells out the implications of that reality for Christians: First, we thank God for one another; second, we pray for one another; third, we take account of one another’s faith, hope, and love; and fourth, we remind one another of the most basic and sustaining truth of our lives: we are brothers and sisters loved and chosen by God.

—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. is a professor of education and Rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University, University Heights OH.