Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin

Lectionary: 334


After taking counsel, the king made two calves of gold
and said to the people:
"You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough.
Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."
And he put one in Bethel, the other in Dan.
This led to sin, because the people frequented those calves
in Bethel and in Dan.


I cannot conjecture for the entire history of the Church, but -- it seems the me -- since the Second Vatican Council the Church has been extremely reluctant to countenance division. Even as Rome permitted and encouraged Catholics throughout the world to hear the liturgy in their own language, so that they might understand and believe, she tried to keep all the bishops and priests together in one communion
But there are divisive "Catholic" sects and that has caused great harm to the Church and suffering to its people. Some believe they are being faithful by clinging to the Latin translation and the many corruptions of the Tridentine Mass. They suppose the lay congregation is better served if they do not understand the words the priest speaks in their name. In most cases he doesn't either. They suppose the Church should neither change nor experience upheaval; that history should stop.
Others think the Vatican Council ended too soon; they press further into what they hope is reform. They risk running ahead of the Holy Spirit.  
Our bible history recalls an earlier schism among the Jewish people, when Jeroboam declared himself king of the northern kingdom, Israel. He broke with Judah, its capital Jerusalem and its temple, then set up "golden calves" -- an ancient discredited image of God -- as idols in the prehistoric shrines of Bethel and Dan. 
He also built temples on the high places and made priests from among the people who were not Levites. Jeroboam established a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month to duplicate in Bethel the pilgrimage feast of Judah, with sacrifices to the calves he had made; and he stationed in Bethel priests of the high places he had built.
From their residence in exile, many centuries later, the authors of the Books of Kings could see what became of Jeroboam's reform. Israel disappeared under the Assyrian army. Ten tribes of Jacob/Israel's descendants were lost; only the tribes of Judah and Levi survived. 
If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor. 
No one can claim the Roman Catholic Church and the several Eastern Orthodox Church are perfectly faithful. That would be blasphemy. But God is faithful to these Churches. We are sure of that.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.