According to the BBC, Nicola Thorpe, a 27-year-old corporate receptionist at a firm in the city of London, was sent home without pay because she refused to conform to the dress code, which included wearing high heels. The heel has to be between two and four inches. Nicola says that she cannot work a nine hour shift escorting clients to offices and meeting rooms in heels. For the moment apparently, these requirements are legal in Britain. She did inquire of her bosses if such expectations are held of male employees as well. Of course, some claim the law is sexist and outdated. The college of podiatry chimed in with the possibility that this demand can cause bunions, ankle sprains and tight calves. The Israeli airline EL AL holds that female flight attendants must wear heels until all passengers are seated. So what should Nicola do or expect? Why did she accept the job if she knew a dress code was in place? Simple, actually: Go work somewhere else where you can dress as you please.

This attitude, where I want the privileges and benefits of belonging while ignoring the rules, is not a new form of behavior, of course. The people of Israel, throughout the Old Testament, claim to be the people of the Covenant, descendants of Moses and Jacob, while at the same time embracing the pagan mores of Babylon and Egypt. They live entire generations in exile, because they refuse to listen to the prophets or abide by the commandments given to Moses. Parishes today have some claiming to be parishioners even though they are not registered, do not attend Mass on a regular basis and do not read Fr. John’s column.  This year, as in earlier times, the people who contributed to our Catholic Appeal that allows us to meet our assessment are less than 30% of the folks who claim to be members of our parish. But, they will fly the flag if they want a letter to be signed to be a sponsor in another parish, receive parish tuition rate at our school or prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. If a wide receiver in the NFL must complete the catch with both feet inbounds, how come disciples of the Lord do not believe they should conform their behavior to the teachings and Commandments of the Savior? As to whether the ladies who work here in the office of the parish are expected to wear heels two to four inches, not likely! Eternity will come soon enough; no need to hasten self-destruction.

God Bless,   Fr. John