Rich Paxson

What sort of role have the “waiters” in Church played in your sense of belonging to Church? Have they been a stumbling block for you? If so, in what way?

The subject and verb in the first question above do not agree. The singular subject, “sort,” needs the singular verb “has” rather than the plural “have.” I point this out not because it bothers me but because the subject-verb disagreement reminded me that metaphorical Church “waiters” have played many roles in my “sense of belonging to Church.”

Some waiters bring fiery food urging social action. Others close a meal with the sweetness of liturgical reflection at the end of a mortal life. And some ‘wait-ers’ help diners endure seemingly interminable interludes between courses by gently revealing at times that the diners are the real cause of a wait, not the restaurant or its staff.

‘Wait-ers’ can be stumbling blocks. And yet, stumbling blocks, rightly understood, become living stones. In Luke 20 Jesus reminded his listeners: “Staring at them, Jesus said, “Then what is the meaning of this text of scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?”