Paradigm Shift

With the leadership of Pope Francis, the church seemed to be evolving towards a much more positive direction as we see mercy and compassion being the common theme lately.

Growing up through to 80s and 90s, I get to observe and experience many paradigm shifts. From the shifts in computer languages to methods of parenting, so it is with the evolution of the church.

The sermon by the priest this morning confirms what I have written on my previous blog entry. He encouraged us to move away from a religion of sadness into one of joy and love. The gospel today was about Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Indeed, it was a miracle of turning sadness into joy. The wine was seen here as the symbol of joy and love.

I believe most of us Asians who grew up through the 80s and 90s would agree that it was truly a school of hard knocks – literally. It was a punishment model rather than one that is of reward.

The belt, rattan cane, and feather duster are common themes in many households with children. I have had my fair share of skin split apart from caning – the struggle was real I tell ya!

The Rattan Cane
The Rattan Cane
The Feather Duster
The Feather Duster

And how many among us are familiar with the statements “Do not make God angry”, “You will go to hell if you…”, and “God is watching!”?

Parents in the old days found it really hard to bring up their children without instilling fear. Perhaps we still do but we have found it much more effective to explain and reason instead of resorting to the belt, cane, or feather duster.

I guess that is how a paradigm shift comes about. We are constantly gaining access to better knowledge and improve our methods in achieving or obtaining results. Through wisdom, we are able to progress in life.

I like to believe that the church is also learning and evolving through the years. Although we still have parishioners who are still accustomed to wearing that veil of old, conventional ways are slowly changing.

In my humble opinion, the moral stand can always remain while the practice can be dynamic. I couldn’t agree more with the priest this morning when he said that we should not allow the religion to be so dead set with legalities, rules, and petty customs/rituals.

Contrary, Jesus brought about a religion of love and joy. Turning water into wine is akin to turning sorrow into joy. Giving him the dull water and to be given wine in return is more than a sign that Jesus only wanted us to be cheerful and happy.

And indeed, after a few glasses of wine, it goes without saying that most of us can be a very happy and joyful…

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