Monday, August 29, 2005

When will you restore the kingdom?

Did I mention how I love the Catholic Church and how the readings tie together the Old and New Testament as well as the Psalms. Last week was magnificent with the Peter and the keys of the Kingdom connected with Isaiah 22.

Thinking about this week’s readings reminds me of something I am slowly learning about the Church today. Jesus rebukes Peter (Matt 16) because he is still thinking Jesus came to establish an earthly kingdom. Simon Peter who just confessed that Jesus was the messiah, the Christ the Son of the living God still couldn’t grasp the truth that Jesus came to die for our sins. One the road to Emmaus, two disciples lament that they thought “this would be the one” to redeem Israel. And in Acts 1:6, even after the Jesus had risen was about to ascend into heaven, some of the disciples still ask if when He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.

This is why Jesus always told those who recognized him as the Messiah to not tell anyone. It seems everyone was looking for that earthly kingdom. Power and earthly riches always seemed to come to mind when anyone spoke of the Messiah.

All this confusion and focus on worldly power took place while Jesus walked the earth. Surely we can see that Jesus came to defeat the one who could destroy our souls, not to free us from any persecution. He even tells us in today’s Gospel that we will have to “take up our crosses daily” to follow him.

So why is it so hard for us to accept the human faults of our Church? We wonder when Jesus will free us of these bishops who fail to preach the Gospel. When will the Pope condemn all the dissident theologians? When will Rome finally enforce the rubrics of the Mass and stop all inane experimentation? When will our local bishop halt the actions of the rouge priests? Why can’t so many bishops understand that hiding behind lawyers while protecting homosexual priest is a grave sin against the Church? When will the more priests give a hard hitting sermon on sin and repentance to bring more men back into our Church?

Of course these would seem to be good actions in the eyes of so many. But I am coming to understand that we should not look for Jesus to establish a perfect earthly kingdom. Are we any different than the disciples asking Jesus when He was going to put a serious whipping on the Roman’s and free the Jews of their oppressors? Ours is not to know the hour. The Church is our mother, our guide to salvation, but it is not solely the Church Triumphant, but also the Church Suffering and we are the Church Militant.

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