In Numbers Ch 16 we hear about how Korah, Dathan and Abiram rebelled against Moses and against God. Korah rebelled against the priesthood and why Moses and Aaron were chosen and other were not to go into the presence of God and preform ministry. Dathan and Abiram may have rebelled less on religious term but more on secular ones, but the outcome is still the same.
When Moses called them, they answered, “Are you not satisfied with having led us here away from a land flowing with milk and honey, to make us perish in the desert, that you must now lord it over us? Far from brining us to a land flowing with milk and honey, or giving us fields and vineyards for our inheritance, will you also gouge out our eyes? No, we will not go.”
We can use this as a reflection for Vatican II. There were a lot of hopes and dreams set on what Vatican II could do for the church. It seems that we have not received the milk and honey that we were expecting. Yet, are we to imagine that Egypt or the past was really that great? Was it really the land flowing with milk and honey that Dathan and Abiram claimed against Moses?
Are we to rebel like Korah and offer our own incense in a way that was not chosen by God at Vatican II? Do we want to test God like the men above, saying that God’s chosen bishops like Aaron and Moses are just lording it over us instead of being truly called by God? Those are great questions.
I am not trying to belittle the fact that the current situation is complex. Yet, I don’t want to claim that Moses was any less complex. He received the 10 commandments and then right after the people worship a calf. These types of immoral behavior on the part of the people continue throughout his life.
The question is should we expect Vatican II to be any different? We have to remember that council like Trent were late to the game. The Reformation had already broke apart the church by the time it made any grand claims to shore up the faith. Those who wanted to leave and become Protestant largely had already left. This was different for Vatican II. It was not reacting to something that had already largely taken place but remained current, but something that was still in the works and how to react to the future. Vatican II was missionary, it was about reaching forward not shoring up the past debates.
The question is, ‘now that we are in a desert of sorts in the west are you going to rebel or trust?’ Have hope and trust that God has chosen a Vatican II as a way forward. We just have to reach that promised time for think to work out. In the desert let’s not complain but move forward. Now proper dialogue is not complaints – it is actually beneficial. What I am asking for is for us all to examine our hearts to see if our dialogues are more like complaints than being open to God’s will through his chosen bishops at Vatican II.