Thought for the week

From A Presbytery Window

The water of the river Jordan is not clear like that of our rivers; it is yellow and sluggish and, of course, rich in biblical history, especially in the supposed site where Jesus was baptised. Many years ago, I had the good fortune to visit that site as part of a pilgrim group. A constant movement of people treading into the warm stream and renewing their baptismal promises was a unique experience.

By word association, the concept of Renewal reminds me of the New Year’s homily delivered by Cardinal Reinhard Marx in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Munich where he is archbishop.

Here is how he opened his sermon: I believe the hour has come to deeply commit ourselves to open the way of the Church to renewal and reform.

The focus of the cardinal’s homily was the issue of compulsory celibacy for priests. And it won’t come as a surprise to know that the German bishops are examining this important issue as a direct response to the abuse crisis. Many would say that they will be pushing against an open door with the wholesome programme introduced by the present Holy Father.

When spring comes to Rathmines I hope to visit my dear friend in the north of England. A former Jesuit priest, he and his partner (and sometimes their children) attend Mass every Sunday where the celebrant is a married man with grandchildren. Isn’t that a fine how-do-you-do! 

By the way, if you think I’ve a vested interest in this topic – perish the thought! ‘Too late for me’ as Philip Larkin puts it in another context. Anyway, at this stage of my life, I would refuse to share the remote control – that’s of course, unless it was with Jennifer Lopez. (Come on, old men can dream, you know)                                                                                                   Fr William