THIS IS A REALLY  INTERESTING GOSPEL FOR ME.  SO WANT TO EXPLAIN IT.  AND FOR A VERY CURRENT REASON. ABOUT A RECENT REORIENTATION OF CHURCH PRIORITIES BY POPE FRANCISCO.

BUT TO BEGIN WITH THE STORY.  IT TELLS IS A STORY ABOUT A HAPPENING ON THE ROAD.  TWO GUYS FROM JERUSALEM WERE GOING TO PLACE 10 OR 15 MILES DISTANT. AND SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THEM ON THE WAY.

WHAT HAPPENED, AS RECORDED, IS VERY SYMBOLIC.  BUT THIS  SYMBOL TODAY HAS BEEN REALLY PERSONALIZED,  TALK BY SOME FOLKS ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL ROAD TO EMMAUS, SOMETHING VERY AIRY, MYSTICAL.  AND ONE THING THAT IS NOT IN ANY OF THE NEW REWORKINGS ARE REFERENCES TO THE DUST, DIRT AND ANIMAL DROPPINGS, CROWDS, THAT WERE AS REAL A PART OF LIFE ON THOSE ROADS AS THE OCCUPYING SOLDIERS.

WHY HAS IT BEEN CHANGED?  WELL, IN MY VIEW, BECAUSE A RELIGION OF IMAGES UP IN THE AIR IS A LOT EASIER TO HANDLE, EASIER TO LIVE OUT, THAN A RELIGION OF LIFE ON THE ROAD.  AND I MENTION THIS BECAUSE, AS I SAID, POPE FRANCISCO HAS ANNOUNCED A MAJOR SHIFT ABOUT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE ROMAN CHURCH.

WHAT CURRENTLY IS SEEN AS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROMAN BUREAU?  IN ENGLISHM IT WOULD BE THE OFFICE FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH.  THE ONE THAT ESTABLISHES WHAT THE FAITH, AS CURRENTLY PRESENTED BY THE ROMAN CHURCH, IS.  IT IF NOT FOR TEACHING IT.  NOT FOR PREACHING IT.  ESTABLISHING PUBLICLY AND OFFICIALLY WHAT IT IS.  WHICH IN PRACTICE IN THE PAST – GOING BACK WELL BEFORE WWII – MEANT LAYING DOWN CLEARLY WHAT IT IS NOT.  AND WITH THAT OFFICIAL SANCTION THEY HAD JURISDICTION OVER ALL THE OTHER ROMAN BUREAUS. DOES IT HAVE A PUBLISHED GUIDELINE?  YES.

AND THAT IS WHAT FRANCISCO IS CHANGING.  NOT THE WORK THEY DO.  THE JURISDICTION.  HE IS REPLAING IT WITH A NEW GROUP TO OVERSEE THE ADMINISTRATION.  AND THE NEW GROUP IS TO MAKE THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL REAL ON THE LOCAL LEVEL BY MAKING THE LIVING OF WHAT JESUS TAUGHT AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE TO THE WORLD’S HUNGRY OUTSIDERS.

NOW THIS NEW OFFICE IS NOT ANOTHER ROMAN BUREAU. IT’S REALLY MORE OF A MINDSET. AND HE ADMITS THAT MAKING A SET OF MIND CONCRETE AND REAL IS TOUGH.   ITS GOT TO BE PERSONALIZED AND HUMANIZED.  AND THAT’S NOT EASY.

BUT WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?   HERE IS ONE.  AND ITS GOT A REAL SYMBOL. A BOOK.  A BOOK CALLED A CATECHISM. IT’S CALLED THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH.  [UBLISHED BY THAT CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH.  A BOOK THAT LISTS  CURRET REACHING, AND SUPPORTS THEM WITH EDITORIAL ASIDES.   BUT WHAT GOOD IS A BOOK TO POOR AND HUNGRY PEOPLE?  PEOPLE LIKE THE ONES IN THOSE TENT ENCAMPMENTS AROUND SAN PABLO AND 20TH ST IN OAKLAND.  LOOK IN THE CATECHISM FOR CHURCH IDEAS ON WHAT TO DO TO HELP THEM. THUMB THROUGH IT, OR LOOK FOR SAN PABLO AND 20TH IN THE INDEX.  NOT THERE.   AND ASK THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THAT BUREAU IN ROME ABOUKT SAN PABLO AND 20TH AND THE TENTS AND THEY’D THINK YOU’RE  CRAZY. “WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR MESS IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA?             AND THAT’S THE POINT.  POPE FRANCISCO WANTS TO CHANGE THINGS SO THAT THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF SETTING PRIORITIES IN ROME, THE ONES WHO CALL THE SHOTS, SEE THEMSELVES CALLED ON TO LOOK INTO PLACES LIKE THE WORLDS TENT CITIES – FULL OF POOR, WAR REFUGEES, AND NOW STATELESS PERSONS TODAY BY THE MILLIONS.  HE WATS THEM TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THE TEACHING AND LIVING OF THE GOSPEL VISIBLE AND USABLE AND REAL IN THE TENT CITIES  – IN OAKLAND AND IN ALL THE PLACES IN THE WORLD WHERETHE CONSTRCTION CRANES THAT ARE BUILDING THE NEW, MULTI-BILLIOMN DOLLAR OFFICE TOWERS ARE CASTING THEIR SHADOWS ON PEOPLE LIVING IN HUNGER AND MISERY ONTHE STREETS.

NOW CHANGING THINGS IN ROME MEANS TAKING AWAY PRIVI-LEGES.  PRIVILEGES IN ROME ARE NICE.  ITS NICE TO DROP INTO PASSETTO’S ON THE PIAZZA NAVONA FOR A LATE EVENING DINNER.  AND BE GREETED  ‘AH, BUONA SERA, MONSIGNORE!”  FRANCISCO DID NOT GROW UP IN THAT WORLD.  HE CAME FROM A DIFFERENT PLACE.  AND HE WAS ELECTED BECAUSE THE ELECTORS WANTED SOMEONE FROM THE OUTSIDE. THAT OUTSIDER’S VIEW IS DIFFERENT.  AND MANY OF THE ROMAN INSIDERS DON’T LIKE DIFFERENT.  THEY DON’T LIKE HIM CHANGING THEIR INSIDER’S SMALL, COMFORTABLE, CHURCH.

BUT WHAT WE CELEBRATE AT EASTER IS LIFE.  AND LIFE CHANGES.  AND YOU CHANGE, YOU ADAPT WITH IT, OR YOU DIE.