Striving for Deeper Holiness: July 18, 2021


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Friends, blessings from Saint Clement. This Sunday, we continue reading the sixth chapter of Mark, and as you perhaps recall, last week the disciples were sent by Jesus two by two to make a difference in the world, to proclaim that God is love and that we all have access to God through Jesus. And in Jesus's name, they were able to do powerful works, to heal the sick and cast out demons. They were able to bring people into communion and into hope. They did powerful things in the name of Jesus. And this week, we meet them coming back, exhausted yet overjoyed. There are sharing with Jesus what great things they were able to do in His name. For the first time, they were able to experience the power of Jesus working through them.

That is my experience of so many people who I've accompanied in the last year and a half in our Alpha program. Alpha is an 11 week course where we invite people to join in small groups to simply learn about how God works in your life and how God makes a difference in our daily choices and in the ways we live out our faith every single day. I've seen firsthand people experiencing the closeness of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. I've seen faithful people moving from their mind into their heart. They didn't know Jesus as a book. Now they knew Jesus as a person, someone who is close to their heart. It's always such a privileged moment to see this moment when somebody recognizes that God cares for me, God loves me. He desires to be close to me and He uses me as somebody that He sends out on a mission.

Friends, in just the same way you and I are constantly sent out on the mission of bringing the good news, of proclaiming the kingdom of God, of bringing others into communion with Jesus. And so my invitation to you is, wherever you are, that you come to this renewed sense of celebrating all the good things that God is doing through you in the lives of others and in the life of this community at Saint Clement. With all my heart, I thank you for all that you have been doing throughout this COVID year to support our community, to be active here in the parish, to join our parish ministries. You've done so much this year and God has done so much through you, and with all my heart, as I thank you for it, I invite you to engage even more in the ways through which God can work in you and through you in the lives of others. God bless you all!