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Franciscan priest and author Brennan Manning was fond of recounting a story about American G.I.s in France during World War 2.

One of their number had been killed in action.

They approached the priest in a local village and asked if they could bury their friend in the church cemetery.

“Was he a Catholic in good standing with the Church?”  the priest asked.

No, they admitted.

“Then he cannot be buried in the parish cemetery.”

The soldiers felt hurt and angry.

They dug a grave as close as they could to the cemetery, outside the fence, and buried their comrade.

The next morning they made a discovery.

Their friend’s fresh grave was now inside the parish cemetery.

During the night, the priest had moved the fence.

Some people spend their lives building fences as tall and as strong as possible.

Others spend their lives doing all they can to make fences irrelevant. 

May God grant us the grace to be among the latter.

“[Christ] tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance.  He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped” (Ephesians 2:14-15, The Message).