God the Father caused the heavens to show a series of spectacular phenomena which as a whole could only mean the birth of the King of Kings as prophesied through the ages. God the Son came to earth and God the Holy Ghost enlightened the three wise men. So they came from different places in the east in caravans and with precious gifts. One brought gold for a king. Another brought incense for a priest and the third came with myrrh because This royal Person is to die for us.. Such was the knowledge they had even before seeing Jesus Christ.
The picture of the Epiphany always made me wonder about the significance of this visit from great distances to see a newborn child. I always noticed the three men depicted as kings each offering a gift and St. Joseph nonchalantly looking on. The Christ Child is usually in the middle and scantily clothed supposedly in the middle of winter. The Blessed Mother is right beside Him with her halo just as bright as His. She was blessed, not defiled by the birth of her Son.
“Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
BLESSED art thou amongst women
And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb … Jesus”
On 11 November 2004, the Holy Spirit enlightened another group of people during the General Episcopal Synod held here in Casa Grande from the tenth to the twelfth of that month. On the eleventh, the ordination of women to higher orders was discussed. This was my first time to be present during an actual decision making discussion of ordaining women priests. I read about previous arguments about why priest have to be men and NOT women. The Canon Law actually says women ordained priests have to be excommunicated. I also read a commentary showing portions that were applicable in the past. Included was “Women may not receive Holy Communion while on their monthly periods.” I do remember rules less shocking than this when I was young. They have been gradually eliminated. However, the presumed uncleanness of the female individual during normal physiological bodily functions programmed by God Himself and erroneously translated into the presumed inferiority of women still is the UNWRITTEN RULE. No one ever mentions or admits the relationship between the two. Instead the focus was on the need for a physical male human body as required by the liturgyand the gender of Jesus Christ and His chosen apostles. Also in focus was the need for a male figure to symbolize authority.
It is clear from the spoken words of the mass that the celebrant is neither Jesus Christ nor the Apostles and the only spoken male designation in the LCCI mass is the pronoun “he” after the Consecration and the “Adeste Fideles”. This most likely was used to avoid repetition of the words “this servant”. “This humble servant” or “this subject” can be substituted for the word “he”. The rest of the male pronouns were written by the script writer to describe what the various players are to do. Specific designations like Celebrant, Deacon, etc. can be substituted. A symbol of male authority is not needed. We believe that the Celebrant, male or female has the authority to say mass and the power to change the bread and the wine into the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ. Such authority and power are received through an unbroken line of Apostolic Ordination.
Then a new argument was mentioned. We need the masculine energy. “Kings from the East, please come back and share your knowledge with us modern westerners.” Ancient Eastern cultures have a better grasp of the concept of energy. Energy is a force not a being. The main one in ancient Chinese philosophy is tau. This is composed of two groups of opposing forces called yin and yang, female and male not because they have genders but because like the human female and male, they are exactly opposite each other. They therefore COMPLEMENT, not kill each other. Their delicate balance gives rise to harmony called chi which is the life giving energy. In religious parlance, this is the spirit or the soul. In poetic language this is the breath of life. In medicine it is the presence of Vital Signs.
The concept of energy, yin and yang are applied to everything in life such as professions, arts, sciences, jobs, etc. The masculine energy, derived from the yang group is the combination of authority and power that are essential to priesthood as licensure and certified successful training are to doctors. The female energy is the group of traits necessary to perform duties and daily functions.
The bishops went to a separate room to further discuss the issue and then vote. I left to go to another meeting so did not hear about the crucial argument till the following Sunday. Human beings are made of body and soul. Allelujah!!! She got it!!! The soul mentioned above is the living, thinking, reasoning, theosophical immortal part. This receives the authority and power transmitted through ordination. The gender possessing body is the mortal part made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, minerals and water. Minus the water it is biblical ash. It gets discarded eventually. So the Liberal Catholic Church International decided to follow the steps of the Old Catholic Churches of Germany, Austria and Switzerland which started ordaining women priests in 1982 and Utrecht in 1999. One woman was ordained to priesthood by a courageous and forward looking Roman Catholic bishop in the underground Church of Communist Koinnoites, Czechoslovakia on 28 December 1970 in the midst of persecution and repression of the Catholic Church. There is no plan to ordain more. However, Epiphany comes every year and at times when there is a special need. There is hope
Inspired by the grace of God, the Magi came to participate in the ongoing cocelebration of the first mass, to be blessed during a special viewing of the Blessed Sacrament and to partake of the true Eucharist. They used their newfound knowledge responsibly. They foiled King Herod’s plan to eliminate Jesus Christ by keeping the latter’s location secret and leaving in three separate groups and directions. Wherever they went, they proclaimed the birth of the Messiah to all humanity, past, present and future, Male and Female.
Magdalena D. Guerrero, M.D. (dr G)
Updated 25 April 2005