Weekend Reflections for 9/28/18
Are You Jealous for My Sake?
As I reflect on this Sunday’s readings, both the first one and the gospel, I recall a series of events from my past.
Over 50 years ago when the liturgical renewal initiated by Vatican II began, its effects were very much evidenced in a Sunday afternoon liturgy at St. Louis University. This Eucharist was originally conducted in the community chapel of the Servite Fathers, who had a large number of their members studying at the university. For their Sunday Masses anyone was welcomed to attend. This liturgy became increasingly more popular.
At that time I was a young graduate student at the University and I recall hearing a few people complaining about the Mass. I was surprised to find out that their main complaint seemed to be that the liturgy was not under the auspices of the Jesuits but that of the Servites. In hindsight I believe that real reasons were a combination of jealousy and also of ignorance of what was taking place at this liturgy.
Nevertheless the Mass’s popularity continued to grow so much so that a larger location for the celebration had to be found. Ironically the new location was a large chapel at the St. Louis University College Church, whose pastor had graciously acquiesced to its use by this group. Within a short period the mass became well known as the 5:00 p.m. student liturgy at St. Louis University.
This reminds me how the spirit of evil in our world will always do whatever it can to obfuscate and hinder good works from taking hold or taking place, no matter what source from which they come or originate. I remember a wise theologian saying at this time that it was not important who conducts the work or under whose auspices it occurs, but rather that the good work take place, that it be accomplished.