Fishers of men

This week’s quote:

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Jesus.

Why this quote?  Because it was in yesterday’s Gospel reading and I was in a local church but not my own church due to getting back from our couple’s weekend.  This particular church has a Sunday evening Mass and when we are camping or out of town for a weekend and can’t get to our own church for Mass, we have participated in Mass at this church in the past.

After yesterday, that will be changing.

Bit of background:  Homilies in the Catholic Church (what Protestants call a sermon, I believe) are supposed to focus on the Gospel and should strive to teach the congregation about the meaning of what they just heard. 

Yesterday’s homily did none of that.  It didn’t explain the readings.  It didn’t tie in to anything relevant to the readings.  It didn’t promulgate the Catholic faith in any way, shape or form.  The priest who delivered the homily talked about a little boy who at the age of 3 had (quoting the priest) “an out of body experience” where he experienced death & heaven and came back to life.  The little boy is the son of a Methodist minister and he wrote a book telling about everything this little boy related to him and his wife.  After the allotted time for the homily ran out, the priest stopped speaking.  He didn’t explain how this story related to the Gospel reading that day.  He didn’t explain why he wanted to share the story with the congregation.  He didn’t explain what he hoped the congregation would get out of this story.  He didn’t explain how this story would help the congregation be strong Catholic faithful.  I was livid!

Normally when we have attended this church in the past, I would seat our family somewhere in the middle of the church.  I do this because the one time we attended a Mass at a church in South Dakota, we sat three or four rows from the front pew and those pews never filled so we had to figure out that church’s custom for reception of the Holy Eucharist without being able to watch the natives.  It was disconcerting.  I know that I shouldn’t have worried, but they also had a visiting priest that day and he was quite cranky about being there and made that known to the assembled congregation prior to the opening prayer.  Not a spot where one feels comfortable messing up and hoping they won’t be angry with you.

This time, since I was the only one attending Mass (the kids went to Sunday morning Mass with their cousins), I sat in the last pew.  It was a whole different view.  I used to think that it was great that their parish knew when to bow during the Nicene creed.  Yesterday, I saw that only a handful of people actually bowed or even knew that they should bow.  I used to think that everyone in that parish knew that they should bow before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.  I now saw that very few people were bowing and actually saw one woman struggling to get her hat, coat and gloves! on while standing in line to receive the Body of Christ.  Haven’t they been taught that you don’t receive with covered hands?

The amount of teaching that I saw needing to be done makes me wonder why the priest didn’t use his homily time more wisely.  Teach them the way to Christ Jesus, then you can tell them stories.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Monex
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 06:01:17

    ….Jason.Engwer Closing Statement….My opponent decided not to defend the.Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy but instead to defend his.own conception of a court of appeal that transferred from one.city to another eventually residing in Rome. He argued that.passages such as Matthew 16 19 and Luke 22 32 prove that Peter.had unique authority although that unique authority isnt.what the Catholic Church has defined. He also argued that the.Roman church became a court of appeal after the church of.Jerusalem and the church of Antioch but he didnt explain.why other churches Peter went to didnt also become courts.of appeal.

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