Friday, March 9, 2018

Taking A Knee

To take a knee - now a days - does not honestly reflect what that phrase originally meant. 

From the October 5, 2017 New York Daily News in an opinion piece by Kenneth McCallion  - "Since when did the act of kneeling come to be viewed as an act of disrespect? Throughout history, the bending of the knee has always been an act of great respect and humility. People have been kneeling and genuflecting before kings, queens, and popes for centuries as a sign of homage and respect. Every avid follower of the TV series "Game of Thrones" knows that the "bending of the knee" is a symbolic gesture of fealty and allegiance.  In the Christian tradition, kneeling has been closely intertwined with the act of prayer to the almighty. The book of Romans (14:11) teaches: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; … every knee will bend to me…." The iconic 1965 photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shows him praying on one knee with his head bowed while leading a group of kneeling civil rights workers in Selma, Alabama. Was this just a prayerful religious moment, or was it an act of civil disobedience just before they were carted off to the local jail? Either way, Dr. King's action was an expression of the constitutionally-protected rights of the religious freedom and freedom of speech. Isn't this kind of peaceful protest an essential part of what makes American democracy so exceptionally great?  In the church where my family worships on Sundays, some parishioners prefer to stand during the core portions of the service, while others kneel or remain seated. Is one method of worship any better than another. Of course not. The sincerity of a person's devotion depends upon what is in one's head and the heart, not whether you are standing or on your knees".

In the above article Mr McCallion says exactly what I would write.  In the Catholic Church - we are known for using kneelers - frequently during Holy Mass - not being disrespectful - rather kneeling at high points during Holy Mass - especially at the elevation of the host and chalice during consecration of the communion elements. Catholics take a knee every weekend when at Mass - routinely - especially during Lent as we kneel and pray to God for patience and understanding with us as we fumble our way through life.

God comes to us constantly - standing - kneeling - sitting - lying down - in any position in which we are comfortable.  In Lent we walk through these days of penance and prayer on knees bent to the Lord.

Deacon Dale