Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Widening and levelling piety

Within a span of a week there are two 'new' additions to the ordo - feasts that are being added.  Two days ago it was Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of the Church and tomorrow there is Jesus Christ the eternal high priest.  Wonder how relevant or meaningful are these additions in the present times. 

Honestly I know not and have not made any effort to find out the real rationale behind the institution of these two special days, but just out of a general feeling...

The first one, Mother Mary as the mother of the Church... well for us Catholics there never has been a doubt about that.  Most Christians and even non-Christians who have heard of Mother Mary have no problem in seeking her maternal protection and venerating her as 'mother'.  So then why exclusively title her as 'mother of the church'.   If any broaden the attitude to speak of her as mother of all!  Why so to speak monopolize her as to belonging and of the Church.  Why not be generous in stating that she is the mother of all.  That way those who want to approach her feel comfortable and not feel as though they are 'appropriating' someone else's family member. 

The second one, of Jesus the eternal high priest, appears very pessimistic.  In this age, especially in the West, where there is a real decline in the number of those joining priesthood and religious life, attributing the eternal priesthood to Jesus is like a consolation prize for those who do opt.  Moreover, why at all 'high priest'?  Sounds really hierarchical... exactly the opposite of the whole reality of incarnation and Jesus' own mission while on earth. 

More than mere additional special days of commemoration, we do need to widen our inclusive attitude and make our existing pieties more deep and social.  

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