Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something More Important Than the "Liturgy Wars"

“When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you? Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and Sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness, these I cannot bear.

Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you. Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim; redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 12-17)

When I was planning to write a post tonight, I originally intended to write about what some people have called “the liturgy wars.” But then the news came this morning about the earthquake in Haiti. Slowly the reports and images of the devastation have been coming out of that poor, hard-luck country. The National Catholic Reporter has been collecting and combining reports from the news wires on their website, including the report of the death of the archbishop of Port Au Prince. These stories and images have been gut-wrenching.

This puts the “liturgy wars” in perspective. Sometimes, we can be too focused on internal church matters; and forget what Jesus commanded us to do, to heal the wounded, to love the forgotten, and give hope to the despairing.

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