Friday, 23 May 2014

Rabbit Carrot Gun - Part II

The Mass readings this week seem to point me in the direction of living in uncertainties and which reinforces my Rabbit Carrot Gun learning journey takeaway - responding rather than effortising/initiating - some weeks back.

What struck me were the readings of how the apostles had to elect committees and appoint people to take on roles to see to the various needs that sprung up along the way as they founded the early Church. The focal point for me is "along the way".

It got me to realise more consciously that when Peter led the apostles as the first Pope of the Church, he, along with everyone else, did not know what in the world they were going to do, how in the world they were going to bring the good news to the ends of the earth. All they probably had was the great desire to do anything, go anywhere, be anyone for the Master they came to know, love and desire to serve.

They probably had no visions, no mission statements, no long term plans to work towards, no proposals and PowerPoint presentations of these proposals and projections. What was once informal meetings to remember Jesus has now become the Mass we participate in. No dreams of building churches, nor convents or seminaries, retreat houses. No idea how to even have such dreams that would be quite out of this world in those times. No idea what problems they would encounter, no backup plans, wet-weather plans... Nothing. Fumbling, stumbling, failing, making errors... How are we the Church we are today?

All of which points me back to "responding". A problem surfaced. They met, discerned, discussed, agreed and executed the solution. New needs sprung up. They elected suitable people according to their gifts to see to those needs. Every step of the way, when there seemed to be a new realisation, a new obstacle, a new situation, they responded as best as they could, without following any manuals for discernment, but always being opened to the Holy Spirit's promptings and guidance with docility, obedience and total self-giving. They responded, experienced new things, responded, experienced new things, ... growing, learning, maturing.

The Church is not what it is today because of a 2000 years proposal Peter or any of the apostles drew up and passed down one generation to the next. It is what it is because people have been responding with love and courage, faith and hope in the One who leads them as their Good Shepherd. The Church is not built upon the initiatives of Man but upon Man's generous responses to the initiatives of God - planted in hearts' desires, problematic situations, etc. And perhaps, this is the right relationship between God and Man - that we are merely followers of the One who leads and creates.

And the question for us in our time is...
What is God initiating in our lives? And what will our response be?

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