August 30: Saturday of Week 21 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Psalm 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21; Matthew 25:14-30
Thoughts to help us surrender to Jesus expressing himself through us in ministry.
The Laity’s Responsibility
“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.” 1Corinthians 1:26
Paul insists Jesus turned our culture’s standards upside down: “God chose those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something.” God doesn't want his Church respected because of the evident importance, education and social status of its members. This applies even more so to the clergy and hierarchy. To the degree that we treat priests and bishops as “more important people,” we are destroying the Church.
See the destruction we have already brought about. How many bishops and pastors really consult or listen to the laity? How many priests are arrogant and rude? How many drive people out of the Church? How many pontificate from the pulpit, “exspouting” rules and doctrines dogmatically, without asking input from anybody? How many “bishops of bling” and self-pampering pastors “wear soft robes and live in royal palaces” as if entitlement to a lavish lifestyle were intrinsic to ordination?
Whose fault is this? The laity’s! Sheep who accept wolves for shepherds deserve to be dogfood. If the laity refused to “live the lie” by treating the clergy as privileged, the abuses would stop. But when parishes suffer in silence, silence becomes applause.
The name for this is “clericalism.” The remedy is not anti-clericalism but insistence that we all share one common dignity—“being Christ” by Baptism—and actually treating all as equals.
PRAY: “Lord, show me who I am.”
PRACTICE: Treat priests and bishops as equals.