Father Z's comment on the red shoes and mozetta reflects the true humility which is demanded of the priest who should see the honorific gestures not as accorded to his person but rather to Christ in whose person he comes.
The seeming simplification of vestments and anything about the rites which Pope Francis prefers is really sending the wrong signal that the Church of the poor must have poor liturgy! I now hear people saying that the Church must veer away from its high church liturgies and perform low church rites in order to be more relevant, and even more "people-friendly". I find it disturbing that the liturgy is once again being regarded as a theater performance wherein we should look poor in order to appeal to the masses. In the present political season in the Philippines, I notice that political candidates no longer have themselves photographed in the formal barong tagalog wear but in t shirts and blue jeans. A politician (born again fundamentalist) used to put the title "bishop" before his name. Now he reverts to being called "brother". Are these for real???
Unfortunately, everybody wants to ride the "simplicity" band wagon on account of the new Pope. However, everybody seems to forget that sacred ministers are not actors who pretend to be poor in order to be relevant. Sacred ministers are, in reality, "sacramental signs" of Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. We come in the name of Christ. We come in the person of Christ. In the Sacred Liturgy, the priest is Christ and Christ is the priest. The priest must have enough humility to be able to accept the fact that he is no longer his own.
I find Fr. Z's reflection very relevant to the present issue:
"The Catholic priest is simultaneously the victim offered on the altar. All the older, traditional ceremonies of the Roman Rite underscore this foundational dimension of the Mass. If we don’t see that relationship of priest, altar, and victim in every Holy Mass, then the way Mass has been celebrated has failed. If we don’t look for that relationship, then we are not really Catholic. Mass is Calvary.
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