God qualifies the unqualified. As a result of the Roman council we call Vatican two, much of the power that was reserved for priests and bishops in the church was made available to the laity. Only a priest could touch the consecrated bread and only a priest could distribute the Eucharist. Women were forbidden to enter the sanctuary at all, unless it was to clean the area. Alter servers were alter boys only.
Thankfully these hurtful and archaic ways of the church were dispelled. In many ways the things that were done in the church kept us away from God. You may recall that we were not permitted to read scripture because without the proper training we could easily misunderstand and be led astray. Again something that kept us away from God and the knowledge of His son Jesus Christ.
The church today still has a long way to go in responding to the mission set out by Christ, but these changes are terrific. We are an ever more inclusive church that welcomes all people regardless of anything. This doesn’t mean the church condones anything and everything it simply means that we are commanded to love all people, and that is not possible if we shut you out.
The diversity of our members is our strength. It is our true beauty. This is a call for all those who would like to be more involved in the church, but you are not worthy. I am not worthy, Pope Francis is not worthy. Who could, in this frail body and mind so easily led astray be worthy? God qualifies the unqualified. We are challenged to do many things in life that we are not ready for, that we are not qualified to do, and we learn, and we succeed. Our first job, our first child. Getting married, starting a business. To all of those things we could say that we were not qualified and we would be right, but God qualified us, gave us the fortitude to hang in there when things got tough.
Let us pray today for the faith that will conquer the fear that would have held us back, kept us away from a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our Lord.
Peace and blessings, Deacon Bob