12 Sep Thursday
There’s a new group of Pharisees for today, — Napa Catholicism, soaking the cloth of religion in the spit bucket of politics and an odd interpretation of history, or so I read in Commonweal. They’ve made a golden calf out of some mystical, magical moment in history when the world was perfect because in submission to hierarchy, yet such a Tim never actually existed. One’s religious credentials are based on familiarity with dubia and minutiae of GIRM. It is to them that the parable is addressed of the Lost Son, not understanding that the son the father has now lost is in fact themselves.
When most Catholics are offered good liturgy including good music, good homiletics, and compassionate pastoral care, then they participate in Church, much like the father’s surprise banquet for his wayward son, whose life is now retired and brought round right by grace. It is a tender tale. The still up in the air story of the older brother is left unfinished and in question. Will he come to his senses and attend the feast?
The other example is Paul’s own case in the second reading from I Timothy. Here he lists his four obstacle: blaspheming, persecuting, arrogance, and ignorance. He tells us that mercy and grace are what brought him to the table in Damascus. “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Paul calls his case an example of salvation from slavery to the sins/obstacles of his former way of life. He concludes with a doxology of praise and thanksgiving.