Thursday, September 9, 2010
"take your share in the councils of the Church"
I think we all know the answer to this question. Gentiles (non-Jews) make up the overwhelming majority of Christians today. But even though we take this for a fact today, it took a great council and many years of hot debate to come to this conclusion.
During the liturgy for the ordination of a priest, the bishop charges the candidate "to take [his/her] share in the councils of the Church." Again, the bishop prays over the ordinand, asking that he/she be made a "wise councilor." Notice that it is councilor, not counselor. It is now my obligation to faithfully enter the fray of Church controversy.
One last note: being a wise councilor doesn't always mean that I will be on the "winning side" of the argument. As in the Jerusalem Council, some of the apostles and many elders of the early church wanted to keep the Christian assembly a decidedly Jewish organization. Well, they lost the argument. When I take part in the councils of the Church and vote against the will of the majority (I'm sure that's bound to happen), I will take it in humility, knowing that I am following in the footsteps of a great many faithful disciples in the past.