Friday, January 21, 2011

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year C – 2010

May the peace of Christ Reign in our hearts,

The Word of God speaks to every age.
And today’s second reading speaks directly to some of the challenges we face today.

In his first Letter to the Church in Corinth
Paul writes to a divided community a community with many factions.

While some members of the community are sincere,
Sadly its seems that pride and ego were at the root of many of the division in the community in Corinth.

There were leaders in the Church and  each leader was vying for followers and importance.

The divisions were so deeply rooted that sadly the members of the community began to identify themselves with “their leader” rather than Christ.

“I follow Peter, I follow Apollo” they said.

Something is wrong when personal preference, and personal loyalties supersede fidelity to Christ and fidelity to the Gospel.

Today these words ring so true. While we know longer identify ourselves with different leaders many of us choose to identify themselves with different theologies and liturgical preferences.

Today we hear things like…
I don’t like it when people hold up the line and kneel for communion
Or we hear…
I like to pray in Latin
Or we hear…
I want women priests
Or we hear…
I only like contemporary music
Or we hear
I only like the organ played in church

Or we hear…
I am conservative
Or we hear…
I am a liberal Catholic
Or we hear…
I and I and I and I

In so many respects we are like the Corinthians in the time of St. Paul

We the body Christ have divided ourselves into little factions or cliques each so sadly prone to begin our sentences with I.

Happily I have not found too much of this here at St. Paul.

It is my hope that in our parish we will strive for unity rather than division, communion rather than factions.

Unity and communion can only find their source in faithfulness.

When we strive to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
when we strive to be faithful to the teaching of the Church given to us by Jesus Christ disunity and divisions will cease.

In the Gospel, Jesus said
“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

Today the unity of the Church is still protected and nurtured by the ministry of St. Peter in the person of our Holy Father.

St. Ambrose in the 4th Century so proudly proclaimed
“Where there is Peter there is the Church.”

Obviously he was not speaking only of St. Peter but everyone who would follow him as Bishop of Rome.

Our unity, the unity of the Church is rooted in fidelity.
faithfulness to the Word of God, present in the Scriptures,
faithfulness to Sacred Tradition, protected and nurtured in the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church.

Holy Ones,
It’s a big Church
Some may kneel, and some may stand
Some may like Latin and some may run and hide from it
Some may like guitars and others will prefer Gregorian chant.
I could go on and on and so could you.

We can’t let these things divide us.
We can’t let them pull us apart.

Love is self giving.
Pridefulness and egos are self seeking>

Let us strive with all of our hearts to avoid the weaknesses of the Corinthians

The weaknesses which concerned St. Paul so much that love compelled him to write them a letter.

If we are faithful to the Teaching of Christ
and if we remain faithful to His Church

We will always be in communion


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