Monday, October 11, 2004

Dismissal, Tax Exemptions and Lepers 

Our Sunday dismissal was about 2nd Kings 5:14-17 and Luke 17:11-19. Both readings concern lepers being cleansed. Our priest pointed out that the lepers sought out their cleansing, they asked for help. Today, too few people take responsibility, we don't acknowledge the need for cleansing. He is always careful to never specify that we should vote for a particular candidate for president, but he said again, this week, that the election is a fine metaphor for our society: neither candidate takes responsibility for anything. The debates are full of empty rhetoric... he said our world today is full of words, too many words and not enough action. Our priest believes the Catholic leadership in America is too frightened of losing their tax-exempt status to stand up for anything. They fear a strong national stance against abortion or stem-cell research will cause the political party that is for those things to bring suite against the Catholic Church. Our priest says this does not show faith in God. We should be fearless and trust God and stand up for what is right. It was another good sermon. I like strong, steadfast belief.

Dismissal is when, after the homily/sermon, the priest calls all RCIA Catachumans to the alter. The priest says something like, "All Candidates for full communion with the church, please approach the alter. These people are studying to become full members, to be able to partake in the Eucharist with the rest of the universal church. They will go now and further study the readings from today's gospel." The priest hands over the Gospel book to a teacher who then leads the Catachumans off to a room to "Break open the Word" while the rest of the church takes communion. We then discuss the Gospel lesson by reading it three different times and talking about it each time.

Although I'm not a fan of going to the front of the church every week, it is rather nice that we avoid the problem of being stumbled over in the pew while everyone else goes up for communion... and I do enjoy Bible study. We do not leave church for any other reason beyond Bible Study.

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