5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Acts: 6 1-7
The Church presents daily readings that inform us of the genesis of a religion birthed after the resurrection: a period of rapid growth concomitant with a need for structure as not everyone was pleased with the inequality that existed. The Hellenists and the Hebrews received attention from the twelve leaders, as the table fellowship exemplified by Jesus was not in evidence.
They called together the community that resembles a parish council of today, and appointments were assigned to reputable men filled with the Spirit and wisdom. Two groups were created: one to serve pastoral needs of the members and another to preach the teachings of Jesus emanating from a discipline of prayer. At the conclusion, the apostles prayed and laid hands on the seven men, the forerunner of the Sacrament of Ordination.
Through the centuries, the hierarchy has created many titles for the role of leadership and given the number of the laity to those who are to follow and obey directives imposed on them.
Law and Order is not just the popular entertainment show, it is essential for the sustainability of any group, and as always there are divisions arising because faults and circumstances give rise to change in how things are done. Overnight we have shifted from communal worship to electronic gatherings, no Eucharist, no rituals for burying our loved ones, no First Communions, Marriages, Anointings, and strict rules for keeping everyone apart.
When the Pope called a Vatican Council a half-century ago, he ordered the windows of the Church to be opened so fresh air could come in, and now we experience an airborne virus that has caused more change than created by that council. We have witnessed the good and the not so good results of both of these events, and now we scramble as to how we will move forward.
The standard element exists only in the reliance of the Holy Spirit. Can we rely on that Spirit and factor it in as we disagree on the changes that must be made to continue the life of Christ in the organization and individuals who genuinely believe that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has to be expressed in our daily life. A Last Supper was a religious observance in which the participants were at their most vulnerable. Now in our time of uncertainties in every direction we look, we have to restructure our value systems and pray that the power of faith behind holy dialogue will result in a new unity as never before witnessed in the world; an oneness born from the men and women who experienced the living Jesus, still present today.
Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blessed, And In Our Hearts, Take Up Thy Rest.
Come With Your Grace And Heavenly Aid, To Fill The Hearts Which Thou Has Made.
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP