First, a couple of things. Martin Luther did not lead the reformation from the Catholic Church. He had issues with it, to be sure, but he wanted to remain a Catholic but only when he was ex-communicated did he preach his teachings we are familiar with today. It was other groups of primarily German religious leaders who took the schism and worked at rooting out all things Catholic from their churches. Brother Martin knew to keep the good parts of the Catholic liturgy (teachings) and simply add those things he knew was right and proper from having had access to the full Bible as a priest.
Sitting in Mass today it struck me how parallel the Catholic and Lutheran churches are. From beginning to end, had I been able to speak Italian, I could have kept along in the service because of the structure Pastors Sattler and McClean follow according to the LCMS.
The scripture readings were Amos 8:4-7, 1 Timothy 2:1-8 and Luke 16:10-13.
The sermon, I suspect, if it followed with any of the three readings would have been about being a good servant of The Lord – quit being pompous and share what you have with those less fortunate. Anything good we have is a gift from Him to be shared not hoarded. If we can’t be trusted with little or much, what do we deserve later on? None of us are escaping His notice. You don’t have to go overboard but you must do something.
And that was probably the sermon.
The church itself, like so many Catholic churches are resplendent with beautiful art, stained glass windows and architecture. We could hear the priest clearly over the speaker and there was no echo, at least no words repeating like from the movie, Airplane!:
I’ve got to concentrate…concentrate… concentrate… I’ve got to concentrate… concentrate… concentrate… Hello?… hello… hello… Echo… echo… echo… Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…
It was more of a humming/ringing echo such as you’d hear from a Tibetan prayer bowl but monotonous not melodic.
The priest offered Communion but made it clear in Italian and in English that it was Catholics-only. Be that as it may, some Catholics took Communion then left the service much the same way some Lutherans do – right out the door.
And cell phones. Can we turn off cell phones during service? One hour is all is needed. Phones were ringing and beeping and tourists taking pictures and videos during Communion and prayer. Post-Mass is the appropriate time to take pictures of the altar and other points of interest.
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.
1 Timothy 2:1-8
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all peopleto be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransomfor all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”