May 1, 2016
Jun 6, 2016
6th Sunday of Easter - A Reflection by Fr. Leo
A profoundly significant decision was reached in Jerusalem when the early Church met and decided that circumcision was not required by the Holy Spirit for the gentile men who were coming to believe in Jesus as the Christ.
What we don’t hear about is how high the tension must have been among the believers to cause a special meeting of the Apostles in Jerusalem. But imagine the cultural tension between Jews and Gentiles. I stand in admiration of the disciples who were able, like Christ, to stand above their culture and know what was most important; what God would see, and then go ahead and make a major decision to change something that was so deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition even to this day.
In our own time Vatican II was probably the next major appearance of the Holy Spirit in the direction of the Church. It was then that we began to use the vernacular and the celebrant faced the people, who would gather around the altar together as a community of faith.
The good news is that the Holy Spirit has not left the Church. God can still transform us and our institutional Church. I love it when the Holy Spirit takes the helm. In today’s Church it could happen that a priest could marry or women become priests and orientation become a non issue. If God wants this to happen it will happen, and in time I think it will.
Of course there would be great tension in the Church if we embraced these issues, but as we see, that is nothing new in our history. Let is pray, that the Spirit’s voice will speak and be heard. Let us pray for our leaders in the Church that they may be open to the direction of the Spirit for the Church. And let us pray that we individually may be open to the work of the Holy Spirit. A courageous prayer, as God’s will is never quite ours, we will encounter our own inner conflict with God.
Nevertheless, let us pray and try to surrender to the presence and power of God in the Holy Spirit!