This week saw the feast of Pope St John XXIII. It was celebrated, not on the anniversary of his death, but on the anniversary of perhaps the most significant moment in Church History in our time. On the 11th October 1962 the doors opened on the 2nd Vatican Council and, as they say, the rest is history.
The Council was a very bold move, to bring the Church together in the hope of finding inspiration, and that it did. It paved the way for a church of collegiality, a church that wants to listen to God and people.
Pope John’s motivation was one of equality summed up in his words:”We were all made in God's image, and thus, we are all Godly alike”.
For so many, the Council opened liturgical doors, brought in Mass in English and began to welcome the participation of ordinary parishioners in the things of parish life.
But its impact is much deeper. The Council changed the way we related to God, moving people from a relationship of subservience to one of friendship. God was no longer seen as some sort of magistrate waiting to catch people out. Rather we were encouraged to begin to deepen our relationship with the loving God.The breath of the inspiration of God began to permeate the Church, even at the highest levels.
What we can celebrate at this time is the ongoing liberation of a Church, where the voice of God continues to speak to individuals and challenges each of them to respond to the ways of God. But, as ever, people need to listen or else they will miss the point!
Just a thought!