Saturday, August 27, 2016

Unity Is Difficult

In theology we allow for criticism; our faith life is choosing correctly and living accordingly. We need to ask ourselves who is Jesus repeatedly. He was murdered and we have to ask ourselves the reason. A priest writing for a bulletin for priests begins his article with these thoughts. 

When he was a parish priest many years ago he was asked by a woman named Martha, in her forties, if he would baptize her granddaughter, and then hesitatingly said she gets a headache every time she hears his sermons and can't concentrate on what he says. The priest asked her what does she think when she sees the cross on the back wall. Why did Jesus die on the cross?

Many of the Catholics give him fruits, meat and liquor and he is very happy to receive them but he did not become a priest to sit in his easy chair and enjoy presents, but to be his disciple.  It would be wonderful to stay in the rectory and not be concerned with what is going on in the world but that is not the reason he is a priest.

He asked Martha if she ever read any of the books  of the Bible or any of the documents from the Second Vatican Council. "Father, I am in my forties when am I going to have time to read those books?" "Pope John XXIII when he  called the Second Vatican Council to bring change to the Church was in his eighties." Martha  with a sad expression on her face left.

Some years later the priest mentions that he was pastor of a parish in which Martha's niece was assigned as a religious sister. Both Martha and her husband had since died. The niece told him that 
Martha came from a wealthy family and her husband was a president of a bank which made her world very small and difficult to see beyond the walls she had built.

Martha was a good and devout Catholic he told the niece. However, in the Church today we have many Catholics who are disparaging priests for what they teach.  Korean Catholicism  has been basically a very unified and harmonious community of faith but the priest laments that we have laypeople who are breaking  this harmony and sadder still is that we have a few clerics who are joining them. He finishes the article with the words from Matthew 10:36. "A person's enemies will include members of his own family."

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