I really love going to Mass and learning something new. Since I have been trying to reading the readings before Mass because I am often distracted by young children, the Homily is pretty much the only part that I have not heard before. We have been incredibly blessed in that we have found several priests in this area that do give incredible homilies. What follows is what I learned this weekend and is all thanks to our wonderful priest.
This past weekend was the feast of Pentecost. This is when we celebrate the gift of the holy spirit to the disciples. It is the last week of Easter, and what we consider the birthday of the Church. I should be careful to say that this is the birthday of the Church and not when the Church of conceived. These are to very different things. Obviously the Church was conceived by God during the life of Christ, but the Church was born on Pentecost because that is when it became “human.”
One of the things that I hear a lot as a criticism of the church is, “What about all the bad and evil things they have done over the years?” I will admit this is something I have struggled with myself. I mean how can reconcile that. The answer is so simple that I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, and it has to do with Pentecost.
There are two parts of the Church, the human part and this is the part that we see every day, and the part that comes from God. A good example of this is the Our Father. The words of the Our Father, were given to us from God, from Christ. We use the words that he taught us that is a from God part of the Church. Now how we pray it, what we do while we are praying it, meaning do we all hold hands or stand an pray individually or kneel, do we bow our heads or look to the heavens with our arms spread wide. Those are all human things.
I want to make it perfectly clear. I do not (let me say that again) I DO NOT condone anything that has been done by the human side of the Church, or by humans who were supposed to represent the Church that was harmful to other people. There have been some terrible things done, those were human, imperfect things.
The important part of the Church, the God part of the Church, what you learn in your Catechism, “Take this bread and eat it, for it is My Body,” this is infallible and has never changed. No matter what anyone says from a Layperson all the way up to the Pope himself, they can not change those parts.
God gave us His Grace in the form of the Holy Spirit. He gave us the ability to understand and spread His teachings, but we are human and imperfect and we do make mistakes. A lot of mistakes! I am not giving those that have made the mistakes a pass. All I am saying is that they are not the core, the God part, of the Church.
For the readings from Pentecost Sunday