Monday, April 27, 2020

The New Normal We will Live With

In the Scriptures, we know how Jesus broke taboos, which the Pharisees and lawyers considered God-given mandates. They were continually in search of reasons to condemn him in the court of law.

A retired journalist and now a college lecturer gives the readers some of his personal thoughts on Jesus' way of acting in the Eyes of the Believer column of the Catholic Times.

Jesus appeared to ignore the existing values, customs, and disciplines as they were seen. Wasn't this shaking the existing system? The authorities had all they needed to condemn him for blasphemy and as punishment— the way of the cross and death but the new normal became the light to human society for 2,000 years.

The world is transformed by the great events that have happened in its history. After these events, there is no way to completely return to a pre-event situation: the Crusades, the plague of the 14th century, the First and Second World Wars, and so on. They all brought great change to society. In this vast and immutable universe, we are always changing, nothing stays the same in every way.

"Even though heaven and earth will pass away, my words will never pass away" (Luke 21,33).

Therefore, it would be reasonable to accept change in this world except for his truth. People often misunderstand and cling to what they think is the truth even if it is not: customs, habits, rules, protocols, and procedures. And when the change comes many long for what was.

Some who are sometimes perceived as devoted believers have difficulty tolerating changes. They think the whole system collapses when only accidental changes are made. Like the Pharisees of Jesus' day who regarded the changes that Jesus was making concerning the Sabbath as a systematic change when rather, he was showing us what the Sabbath really meant.

Amid Corona19, our church also experienced things that we had never experienced before. Now the corona situation will gradually settle down, and many things in the church will normalize. However, as in all fields, you will not be able to return to the way it was. He thinks many ways of life accepted as temporary emergency measures will remain in our daily lives.

The world is facing a new paradigm. It is natural for the church to sort out the reforming tasks that were left behind. When it comes to works to be done, many were raised at the Synod of the Great Jubilee in 2000, but they have never seen the light of day.

Why? No one is ready to give an answer to his question. Perhaps it is because of unfounded worries that the existing system of the church will not be able to accept the changes. He considers this a useless worry.

First of all, he would like to take a look at the Korean church. Pope Francis has pointed out the evils of clericalism often in his talks. It is the spirit of some that consider the clergy to be superior and different from the people— an evil of the church. Clericalism violates head on the teaching that we are 'the people of God' a community of the whole People of God,  a concept which is often heard in the pope's continual blasting of clericalism. 

Secondly, he considers that within the church we still have to deal with the inferiority of women compared to men. This is an element of the culture that has entered the church. Women need to share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families, and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection.  We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.

We must also reconsider the growing secularism and church bureaucracy. In conclusion, we need to come together to discuss in-depth these issues that affect the whole church.

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