January Sales and the Ordinariate for some reason seem to juxtapose themselves in my mind.
Anglican former bishops moving, gliding almost, from the CofE to the Catholic Church, being ordained within just over a fortnight, priesthood following diaconate almost without a breath in between. It seems as if the Pope has flung open the doors and is offering admittance to the Church at bargain basement prices. It throws our whole rather complex sense of "RCIAing" people into confusion, it is bit like Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, a quick discourse on a passage of Isaiah and baptism, and that was it, no more, not even the Eucharist.
Presumably what Philip was looking for was faith. The same with Ordinariate.
All that is required is an affirmative response to the question, "Do you you believe in contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? and can you say also say that you believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God? That is all, anything else is froth.
For those who have spent a life time making the profession of those key statements and now find themselves marooned on their catholic island amidst a sea of liberal belief the Pope is indeed offering a life-line by welcoming them aboard the Barque of Peter, not only that but welcoming them to share in the command of the ship. The parable of the eleventh hour workers in the vineyard comes to mind.
It is easy to be niggardly about the Ordinariate but the Pope has opened wide the door to those who had mistakenly thought they were already part of it. It is up to us to to follow the example of his generosity.
It is like the January sales, Grace is freely available at bargain prices - just like Pentecost - but Grace often appears cheap but the cost is to follow Christ on the narrow way. For those who set out on the Ordinariate path the cost seems to be a little like cost paid by founding colonist on a strange shore, estrangement from friends and all that is familiar, after the initial euphoria there will be the dull daily slog, for the rest of us the cost is learning generosity.
For the Church in England and Wales we are going to be on a steep learning curve and it will hurt, we are not used to the excitement of disruptive converts, I do hope they are going to be disruptive, we are not used to having the house turned upside down.
How Pentecost must have hurt!
And just like the January sales lots of mess afterwards!
But it is so exciting!