It's Advent. I know the Christmas music started weeks ago on the radio. I know there were Christmas decorations out in the stores before my kids even went trick-or-treating. I know there are only 21 shopping days left before Christmas. But, it’s Advent, not “almost Christmas” not “the holiday season,” Advent. According to the dictionary, advent means the arrival of something important or awaited. Today is the first day of intentional waiting and anticipation for something very important to Christians, the Incarnation; God becoming flesh.
Rhonda and Scott Swanson are this year’s Saint Clement recipients of the Christifideles award from Archbishop Cupich. This award is given to men and women in the Archdiocese for their dedication to the Church and its ministries. Rhonda and Scott are deeply committed and dedicated members of Saint Clement. They have four children and have been members of the parish for over 25 years.
The calendar of the church has come to an end. Sunday, November 26th is the last Sunday of the year and the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, though we usually call it by its official name: the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In the long arc of Church feast days and designations, this one is less than a 100 years old. Pope Pius XI established this solemnity in 1925.
Over the years, this Gospel reading has been an ever-evolving lesson for me. In its literal sense, I have struggled with the master’s harsh criticism of the third’s handling of money. In turn, I find myself critical of the master, for his treatment of this poor servant—uncompassionate and lacking understanding. I wonder if my reaction is likely because I might have acted similarly. Thus, each time I read it, I feel an initial reaction of disdain, but know I must take a step back and re-examine how Christ is challenging me in this parable.
In my ministry here at the parish, I have found myself speaking a lot about the Holy Spirit lately—with our RCIA Inquirers, our Confirmation students, and with parents at Sacramental Prep meetings. So when I read today’s readings, I got excited! Here’s another opportunity to talk about the Holy Spirit!
“Um, Rachel… the Holy Spirit?? Where do you see the Holy Spirit in today’s readings? The Spirit never gets mentioned by name in any of these passages!” I know it doesn’t seem like the Spirit’s in there at first glance, but let’s take a look!
Children's Christmas Nativity
The Nativity at the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass has always been a festive, joyful occasion for Saint Clement families. The Christmas Nativity is fun for the children and gives them a sense of leadership and confidence. Most importantly it enhances their understanding of the meaning of the Christmas Scriptures and creates memories for your family and the parish community.
Once a month parishioners share personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement and actively live a stewardship life through prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Alyse Fischer:
I find such satisfaction in hearing Jesus’ rant against the scribes and the Pharisees in today’s Gospel as he warns the crowds and disciples not to follow in their footsteps: