As a baby liturgist, I was in awe of those who could rattle off quick answers to whatever liturgical challenge you threw at them. They sounded so authoritative, especially when they cited the exact paragraph number and title of the conciliar or post-conciliar document (in Latin, of course) that would prove your point of view wrong (of course), and then proceed to give you the historical development of the correct liturgical practice in question, just because.
I did not realize soon enough that my awe was misplaced until I had inflicted the same scribe-like false authority upon unwitting subjects of my own, bashing them with my vast knowledge until they conceded to my honest-but-correct opinion of their questionable liturgical practice.As liturgical leaders, we need to know the documents well, not for the purpose of proving ourselves right but for the sake of healing God’s people. Click To Tweet
What gave Jesus the kind of authority that astonished the people in today’s Gospel, leading them to a deeper desire to know him, was not his power over unclean spirits. It was not his wealth of knowledge or his eloquent rhetoric. What amazed people was his longing to heal those who suffered, to offer a mission to those adrift and hope to all in need.
As liturgical leaders, we need to know the documents well, not for the purpose of proving ourselves right but for the sake of healing God’s people. With that as our desire, we will be able to teach with more Christ-like authority.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- The Spirit of Truth will not be silenced
- The Spirit’s Driving Wind
- We are made holy
- Love, plain and simple
- Let us cling to the Vine