We are promised that whenever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, there He will be among us. I have always suspected when the number is more than a billion world-wide, you better have rules. Rules are necessary – even helpful, but we always need to remember the basis of the rule or things get confusing when people interpret rules in differing ways. I suspect a lot of church arguments fall in this category. Believe it or not, the most common “church rule” question I receive is “how many times a day can I receive Eucharist.” There is a set number and conditions – I will leave you the details to research on-line. But when you find the rule (if you do) will you find the basis for the rule?
I think guys like rules. Baseball has rules, e.g., the the infield fly rule. It is arcane and always the source of great debate about its application and implementation. We guys like to argue about it. It’s a rule. Guys like sports; sports have rules…. Although I wonder if male anarchists like sports? Probably too many rules. You might wonder, why am I going on about all this?
I began to muse on rules because of today’s readings at Mass. In the first reading from Genesis, there is a rule: all Hebrew male children are to be killed (I know… bit of a stretch to call it a rule…) Anyway, that’s the bad news. The good news is that there are five women involved in the story that don’t seem to give one wit about the “rule” – not even the daughter of the rule maker, Pharaoh – especially good news for Moses. Seems to me they are operating out of the only truly important rule: Mercy. Compassion. Pity. It seems to come up a lot in the stories of Scripture. Something to consider.
I fully intend to argue about the infield fly rule, but I will endeavor to be merciful in my dialogue. It’s a start. Where will you start?