Monday, May 23, 2011

Teaching and Churching

I was reading a letter by Cardinal Wuerl in which he describes the role of the Bishops as the teachers of the Church. This is not a disputable fact though one which causes all sort of consternation. I like his example of tennis players during a tennis match. The line judge, not the players make the calls as to what constitutes a fair ball, or a point. In a similar way the Bishop's authority is one of teaching and guiding.

In an age where we want a majority rule or not to distress an others feelings, the idea of a Bishop's teaching authority might seem antiquated. Yet in the Acts of the Apostles when the choice has to be made as to what traditions to maintain, and not to maintain, the role of Deacons, and who to send on various missions, the apostles gathered together, prayed, and implored the power of the Holy Spirit. Their decisions were not always popular but they spoke form the authority given them by Jesus Christ.

We might want to think that Jesus never would have done this. Yet, we do read in sacred scripture whereas Jesus defined the laws and regulations as going beyond the basic concepts of the covenant. Jesus expands the ideas of murder, adultery, and chastity and charity. When people wandered away from Jesus he did not change his concepts so as to meet with every one's approval. We like to maintain the smilely Jesus of our childhood.

Our worship together is to be done in spirit and in truth. That is the crux of our life as a Church. With this foundation our Church leadership shares the Good News through faithful witness, preaching, and teaching the precepts of the Gospel and a moral life. It is a lot of work which is hopefully always reliant on the Holy Spirit.

I is very important to keep our Bishops in our prayers. They take over the struggles of the Church life and Shepherd in the image of Jesus the Christ.

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