Striving for Deeper Holiness: October 10, 2021

PASTOR’S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL MESSAGE

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Friends, blessings from Saint Clement. I hope that as this weather and seasons are changing and as it is colder and darker around us, that because of Jesus' presence in our lives, our hearts are filled with his warmth and our attitudes are joyfully embrightened, filled with life because of our relationship with Jesus and because of our belonging to this wonderful community of faith.

Friends, the Gospel that we hear today, taken from the 10th chapter of Mark, also has a powerful story of Jesus going on a journey, and before he goes on the journey, a young man approaches him saying, "Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?" It's not one of those quick questions, and Jesus, rather than dismiss him and say, "Listen, I'm already on a journey. I'm busy. I have a ton of people waiting for me," what Jesus does is he puts his plans on hold to spend time with this young man. He teaches him an important lesson. He teaches an important lesson to his disciples. He teaches an important lesson to you and to me, and the important lesson that Jesus teaches us is how important it is for us to be present to one another as God is so present to us in prayer. Each time we come in prayer, the creator of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of the world, is present to us with an intent to listen and to embrace us with his love. We then are, in the same way, challenged and encouraged to be present to one another.

So this fall season, my invitation to you, friends, is simply to be present. First, to be present to our God. Put worship of God in the most important place in your schedule and on your calendar. Make sure that Sunday liturgy is the number one thing you put on your schedule. Make sure that your daily prayer is the number on thing you put on your schedule, because if God is in the right place in your life, everything else will be in the right place.

Secondly, make sure that you spend time with the people that you love. So often, we spend the least amount of time or we pay the least attention to the people who we love the most, because we think often that they know that we love them, that we appreciate them. And yet the example that Jesus gives us today is how important it is for us to stop and simply be present to one another. And once we are present to one another, Jesus teaches us an important lesson of co-dependence, the relationship that we have with one another. The young man had a lot of wealth, but wealth would not get him to heaven. What would get him to heaven is his dependence on God and co-dependence on the community.

It is in us coming together and us proclaiming the vision of God's kingdom that the community flourishes and that hearts get transformed. Friends, I invite you this fall to ensure that you are actively taking a next step with us here at Saint Clement and growing in your discipleship and growing in your service in ministering to others in Jesus' name. God bless you all!