Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Who is the greatest?"

When I'm not hearing confessions, I'm reading a book.  Currently, it's The Joy of Being a Priest made of the talks of a retreat for Priests given by Cardinal Schönborn in Ars, France.  I'm about two-thirds through it, and so far it had been full of the usuals: prayer is important, reading Scripture is important, etc.

But yesterday, it got "real".  He is talking about the institution narrative in Luke's Gospel, and I quote:
"But the fact that Luke places one of these rather ignoble discussions right after the institution of the Eucharist gives us pause.  How is this possible?  Jesus has just entrusted to them the most precious treasure, his testament, his life given and delivered up for the salvation of the world.  And a few minutes later they are preoccupied with precedence, a rivalry about who is greater, the all-too-human and all-too-clerical game of making one's importance felt, of claiming the spotlight, of vying for success, popularity, and worldly greatness.  How shocking!  A clerical tiff, an 'argument in the sacristy' in the Upper Room, the evening before Jesus' Passion, on the night he was betrayed, when he freely gave himself up to his Passion!  How many times have we left the church after Mass only to start up our rivalries immediately - if it had not already happened, surreptitiously, during the Mass itself!"

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