Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fr. Rodriguez homily: Pope Francis faces a Devastated Vineyard

On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 17, 2013, Fr. Michael Rodriguez preached on the Passion of Christ and Passion of the Church at San Francisco Javier Catholic Church, in El Paso, Texas. This was just days after the election of Pope Francis.

The title of the homily, shown on YouTube, is given as "The Passion: Pope Francis faces a Devastated Vineyard." The remarks about Pope Francis begin at 18:34 minutes into the homily. As you can see, traditionalists in El Paso don't monkey around with 8 minute sermonettes for Christianettes.

Although the following is quite beside the point of the homily, I must say that I was amused by the remarks of the woman who was the first to post a comment on the YouTube page, who wrote: "It is people like this priest who have helped empty the vinyard!! take off those reminants of the past and LIVE in CHRIST!! not lace and brocade!!!  and Birettas!!!!!"

Nevertheless, in defense of the woman, I'm quite sure this would be the knee-jerk reaction of most mainline Catholics today. It's all just as strange and alien as an Armenian Orthodox Mass or something of the like. Catholic culture has spiritualized the Faith, a move historically native to Protestantism, but not Catholicism, whose worldview has always been 'sacramental', 'incarnational'.

The responses posted by the representative of the production organization that posted the video is equally interesting: "Do your history-attitudes such as yours that HAVE emptied the vineyard,& worse," he writes, going on to related that he has "personally seen Fr. Rodriguez wearing worn out shoes and a cassock," but as in the video, dons the best to give "Christ our King His due glory and honor."

It's not an easy notion for people to fathom who are accustomed to driving expensive SUVs but objecting to chapel veils or golden chalices.

[Hat tip to Mr. A. Sistrom]