In our first reading from his letter to the people of Galatia Paul explained how he remained true to his Jewish traditions while giving himself over to Christ. The differences he was contending with were similar those between the conservative and progressive Christians at the Second Vatican Council.
With this Thursday marking the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, much attention is being given to the friendly differences evidenced in the four years of the council.
I may be wrong, but here is how I saw those differences. On one side, the Curia, feeling they were speaking for an infallible pope, saw Christianity as defined by the Magisterium, or the catalogue of the Curia’s pronouncements. The other side, borrowing the French word Ressourcement, saw Christianity as defined by being true to its roots in the Gospels and the practices of the early Church.
As good Catholics we happily submit our judgment to that of the Magisterium. Still, we delight in discovering what History tells us about the Church in its origins. In line with that, I will mark Thursday’s fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II by writing some lines about the early development of the Mass.