Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Broken Hearts

A few days ago I noticed that my bleeding heart bushes were beginning to get crowded out by the weeds.  I was feeling a bit of energy and my back wasn't hurting too badly yet so I set about the task of chopping down the weeds and mulching my favorite flowers.   The problem was that the shaft of the plant was so weak from being buried under the other plants that it was delicate and tender.  I ended up breaking a few of them.  I got some stakes and tied them up, hoping that they weren't so broken that they could not heal themselves.   After finishing they looked pretty good.  For a day or so anyway.   Then the beautiful pink flowers begin to fade into a sickly gray.  They were cut off from the nutrients, cut off from the ground, the source of life.

Paul and Barnabas were involved in one of the first great debates in the Church.   Some people thought that we were just another holy sector of Judaism.   The Pharisees who had converted declared that the Gentiles too had to begin to follow the law!  Peter eventually stands up and declares no, that's not how this will work and the council follows his lead.   There was something that the Apostles knew that the rest of us often forget.  We aren't grafted into the old covenant.  We are grafted into Christ.  That's what the Gospel is all about.   Our source of life, our faith, is directly from Christ.  We aren't under the law, but under the Gospel of Peace, the Gospel of Jesus.

Our Church has since then fought against heresy after heresy.   Each time having to defend who Christ is.  It has formed into what it is today.  Though it looks substantially different in form and function, you can still read the writings of the early Church and see that the Mass is still essentially the same as it was almost 2000 years ago.  For some, that means they are bored.  The music isn't cool enough.  Where is the concert?  The liturgy is old, it needs to be updated!   I would challenge that for most who drift away from the Church over these trivial things the problem is more that they have forgotten who they are grafted into.  When our love is centered on Christ, the Mass comes alive.  The Church makes sense.   It's through the Sacraments that we restore those bonds that are weekend and choked out by the weeds of this world.  It's through the Eucharist that the bed of our gardens is prepared for the Word that we are receiving.   It's through confession that those stalks that have been so bruised that they no longer can deliver nourishment, are healed completely that we can continue to grow in grace.   The Church isn't repressive, it's freedom to be the person God created you to be.  Why not take advantage of that?

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14

A reflection on the readings for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter: May 17th, 2017