We've all been down at one time or another. From the simple to the complex; we are often burdened with the many crosses in life. Hopes dashed, disappointment, disillusionment and feelings of alienation have afflicted everyone at one time. There are many times when we all have said the words “I was hoping” only to find out that our hopes and beliefs were not going to come true. This may make us feel deceived and out of control of our lives and world. We become skeptical, cynical and afraid.
Stories of Stewards
As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Larry Emge:
Have you ever been afraid to “face” God or felt unworthy of his love? Perhaps because you think your sin is unforgivable or maybe because you don’t think you’ve done enough to share Him with others? You aren’t alone.
There's a song called “Love Song” by the Christian band Third Day that I always think of at this time of year. The opening verse of the song says:
As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Brian Christ:
Set in the lovely landscape of Wisconsin lake country, St. Benedict’s Abbey was an ideal host for the Saint Clement Young Adult Community as they embarked on their annual winter retreat. The theme for this year’s retreat was “Be Bold: Living with Faith and Courage,” and many participants jumped at the chance to get out of the city and recharge.
“That weekend was everything I needed it to be and more,” said parishioner Grace Ahlering. “A good getaway, time to refocus my faith, and an opportunity to make some great friends."
LIKE SO MANY, I struggle with the concept of mortality. Yet as I sat down to reflect and write upon this Sunday’s Gospel from John, I was surprised how deeply it affected me. Initially, one of the parts that struck me most is how “deeply troubled” Jesus is over the death of his friend Lazarus, “…the one you love…” as Martha described. We hear Jesus is “perturbed.” Most notable to me, that Jesus wept. A man who felt, as we feel. A man who loved, as we love. A man who grieved, as we grieve.
Today's Gospel version by John, the man born blind, starts with disciples and Jesus encountering him. The disciples wanted to know who sinned (resulting in his blindness), him or his parents. Jesus told them neither. In Jesus’ time, illness and handicap was looked upon as being from God as a punishment for sin, either personal sin or the sin of ancestors. We see remnants of this in today’s society. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard “Why is God doing this to me, why is God punishing me?”