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Archive for May, 2015

Even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again made priests for the high places from among the common people. Whoever desired it was installed as a priest of the high places.
(1 Kings 13:33)

That passage jumped out at me recently. In the Old Testament times, priests were only allowed from the tribe of Levi, and only “unblemished males” could serve. That isn’t politically correct to our ears, but it is how God explicitly stated it.

Today we have ongoing debates about whether women should be allowed to serve as priests.

Personally, I have no problem with women serving as pastors or ministers in denominations where the communion bread and wine are believed to be symbolic (or are not part of the church service at all).  Pastor Karen was such a balm to my family’s pain when dad died; she was wonderful ministering to us and I gratefully credit her with opening a door through which my dad was able to re-enter church, to worship, and to feel at home.

But in churches where we believe that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, I respect and support the church’s stand that only men can serve as priests. The reasoning goes beyond Jesus selecting men as His disciples; it involves the priest standing as Christ the Bridegroom and the church His bride.

I don’t entirely grasp all of the theological arguments, but I get the gist of it. And I trust that the church that can trace a direct line of leadership from Peter to Pope Francis, has the authority and wisdom to maintain a priesthood as Christ established it.

As in Old Testament times, our worship is not supposed to be about what pleases “me.” It’s supposed to be about what pleases God, whether or not we entirely understand the reasons. As I read the ongoing commentaries on whether women should be allowed to serve as priests, I often hear the arguments being that “I want …” “It’s important to ME … ” “It’s MY desire … ” “I have the right … ” “You can’t tell ME / deny ME …”

And the passage at the top of this blog post rings in my ears … “Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way” and “whoever desired it was installed as a priest.”

The more that those outside the church insist the Catholic church “must” change, the more I hope and pray it stands firm, not swaying in the wind to appease the world and people who will never choose to be part of the Catholic church anyway.

 

 

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