For the past year I have been following the discussions and debates on this forum with great interest. I have learned a great deal about my faith as part of that process and I thank all of you for your contributions to that process.
However, I have been disturbed by how some people hold importance to rigidly following their views of the traditions of the Church. There have been heated discussions over how to receive the Holy Eucharist, head coverings for women, the evils of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, “abuses” by Priests who deviate from how some people think the Mass should be celebrated, and the worthiness of the pre-Vatican II versus the Pauline Mass that came out of the council.
Clearly tradition has it’s place. But what would Jesus have to say if he were alive today and posting to this forum?
We might have a hint if we reflect on Mark 7:1-23. In these verses Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees because his disciples are violating the Mosaic purity laws pertaining to the washing of hands prior to eating. Against the Pharisees’ narrow, legalistic, and external practices of piety in matters of purification, external worship, and observance of commandments, Jesus sets in opposition the true moral intent of the divine law. He ultimately declares moral defilement the only cause of uncleanness (or causing offense to God).
"But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile."
Jesus doesn’t strike me as a guy who placed a great deal of emphasis on the mechanics of worship. The Gospels are full of examples where Jesus condemns those who focus on the external ritualistic practices of faith.
His was a message of love of God and your fellow man.
I think he is probably hurt by the fact that his people are debating the mechanics of how to receive the Eucharist and the possible defilement of subatomic particles of the Eucharist that may end up on the floor of the church.
So here are the questions. Does Jesus really care about these ritualistic debates over what should occur in the Mass? If so, what would he hold to be important?