Thursday, May 26, 2011

As it was in the beginning

These days there seems to be great debate in the church about change.

Some will look at the upcoming changes in the mass and cry that we are moving backward. It is worth remembering that as much as some may want it, time can neither stand still or move backward; it only moves forward. It not only moves forward but toward an already fixed point, the kingdom of God in it's fullness. Having time stand still, or going back in time is only possible in science fiction movies. Time and the church move forward. Of course. motion is change.

Today's first reading, about how the church rethought how gentile converts were to be treated, shows clearly that change while inevitable, was always difficult.

The saint of today Philip Neri created a completely new way of life, the oratory. Now we hear that word and we think ancient and venerable. At it's time to some it was scandalous, not because of anything they did but because it was new. In fact, however, by the end of his life is work of spreading the gospel in Rome was such that some dubbed him "The Apostle of Rome."

It is true that the pendulum swings left, and the pendulum swings right as the years tick by in the church. But ultimately time and the church are always moving forward. God's ultimate plan for her will be fulfilled.