Office of Readings "On Pastors" --- how long, O Lord?!
For the last week or more and till the end of this one, our Church in her wisdom [?] has us reading Ezechiel's prophecies and the homily "On Pastors" by St. Augustine. Otherwise known as "Fifty ways your pastor and your bishop can screw up." Yes, Lord, we know how our bishops can screw up --- this year's long Lent and very early long Dormition Fast have taught us that if they've taught us nothing else. I know, these readings come around every September; but they've never been quite so oppressive before as they are this time around.
Where is the corresponding "On Parishioners" or maybe "On the Putative Faithful" to remind us of our duties and responsibilities to our pastors, and the fifty ways we can and do screw up? We have a duty to honor and care for our pastors, just as they have a duty to honor and care for us. We have a duty to actually pay attention when they try to teach us, and to work hard to understand their teaching and conform our lives to it; just like their duty to listen to us and to teach us the ways of God. We have a duty to pray for them, and not just in the Eucharistic Prayer on Sundays; just like it is their duty to pray for us. And on and on ....
As we continue praying "On Pastors" for the rest of this week, let us not gloat; let us remember that we have duties to match every one of their duties that St Augustine is taking them to task for, and in many ways we've been equal screw-ups with our pastors and bishops. It was never intended that all the holiness of the Church come from the priest, and maybe the nuns; the holiness of the Church is to come from all of us --- or more correctly, from our Lord through every single one of us. We cannot get away with or be satisfied with anything less than sanctity of life, any of us. Not just St Augustine's targets this fortnight, but me and you and all of us! Lord, have mercy; all saints of God, pray for us.