Homilies that Challenge

I like a homily that challenges me to think in new ways. I don’t find such homilies irritating but refreshing. So when my priest tells me “Man and women are the road the Church must walk” (quoting JPII) I find this challenging, even though, when I first heard it, it reversed my notion of what I thought orthodox Catholicism said. I thought Catholic Faith would insist the Church is the road man and woman must walk. But, given the Incarnation and the reality that God has opted to reveal himself in a human way, I realize that there is profound wisdom in the Pope’s teaching. Likewise, when the Holy Father says that the “Church of Mary” (i.e. the communion of disciples) precedes and makes possible the Church of Peter (the Church of office) this, though startling, immediately makes challenging sense.

(By the way, I think a hugely fruitful meditation awaits those who ponder the recent Scandals as the result of the Church of Peter attempting to take precedence over the Church of Mary: that is, of the Church of office thinking it existed for itself and not simply and solely for the sake of the Church of disciples. I also think that the one and *only* way back to health for the Church is for all reformers to commit themselves to the Church of Mary–of discipleship–and not to the Church of Jefferson, or Catholics for a Free Choice, or Ms. or Marx).

I love that sort of “creative orthodoxy” that thinks outside the box, but not outside the Faith. Thanks to my Dominican priests at Blessed Sacrament for giving such homilies on a frequent basis.


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