Striving for Deeper Holiness: August 1, 2021

PASTOR’S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL MESSAGE

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Friends, blessings from Saint Clement. Can you believe that we are halfway through the summer? I hope and pray that you've found some resting place this summer and if you didn't, I hope that August will bring that rest to you. We all need rest. We all need peace. We all need to experience the peace of God in our hearts.

Here at Saint Clement, we've been so busy, but so wonderfully excited about welcoming so many new faces to our community. As we are so sad to see people leaving, we are also super excited to welcome so many new people. Our Theology on Tap was a great success with hundreds upon hundreds of young people attending our Theology on Tap sessions. Our Wine Down Wednesdays are great ways for people to connect and so many people are coming to join us on Wednesday simply to celebrate our community. Thank you for stepping up to be part of the active community, but also for facilitating it for one another, for inviting people to experience a community that cares and that this present to one another. And don't we need that after COVID, to simply be present to one another and care for one another.

That's what we see in today's Gospel. Last week, as you recall, it was the beginning of the sixth chapter of John and Jesus fed 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish, and there is a continuation of that Gospel this weekend from John, when people, because they were fed, they followed Jesus and they said, "We want more." And Jesus says, "Listen, you are not following me because of who I am. You're following me because you are selfish. You simply want more food." And Jesus says, "I am the bread of life." This is one of the "I am" statements of Jesus. Jesus says, "I am the bread of life. You want to be fed. You want to be filled up. Come to me. I am your resting place. If you feed on me, if you receive me, you will be satisfied not only in this life, but in eternal life."

You and I believe we have access to Jesus through the Eucharist, and my prayer and hope is that the Eucharist will be more and more appealing and compelling to you. Perhaps you've been away from the liturgy in-person for awhile. Perhaps you even skipped watching liturgy online. I just invite you to reconsider being part of the Sunday celebration. There's such a blessing in receiving Jesus. Yes, you can be entertained online. Yes, some preachers can be better than others, but five minutes of entertainment and preaching is not a substitute for the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. So my hope and prayer is that if you feel comfortable and safe, that you join us this summer and the fall as we come together to celebrate the Eucharist, to witness the power of Jesus's presence among us, and to encounter Him as life-giving bread. God bless you all!