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:
One of the thoughts that came to me while reading the three readings for this weekend, was what if every Catholic started a social media campaign posting and tweeting sentences from each reading?
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien.”
“You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.”
“You became a model for all the believers.”
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
We're all pretty familiar with today’s Gospel passage. There a lot of sub-plots and meanings underlying the background of the coinage at the time of Jesus. Looking at the most obvious, the Herodians once again were trying to put Jesus in a compromising situation. They thought because of the head of the emperor on the coin Jesus would say it wasn’t acceptable for him to take the side of the Zealots who were considered terrorists and radicals, those who violently opposed the Romans.
Come, gather ‘round this table, all you from far and near.
Gather ’round this table, for all are welcome here.
— Marty Haugen “Gather ‘Round This Table”
Have you ever been invited to a wedding but really didn’t want to go? Maybe you had a rift with someone in the wedding party, or you were expected to purchase a pricey gift? Or perhaps you didn’t know the couple that well, or you just didn’t want to attend? Whatever the reason, I suspect that many of us have been in the position of declining a wedding invitation.
I’m a worrier. I know I shouldn’t be but I am. I may seem collected and even calm on the outside but a moment doesn’t go by without me worrying about something. Just the other day I was talking to my husband about his job search, our son’s high school options and my widowed mother and I must have said “doesn’t that stress you out?” and “aren’t you worried?”about a dozen times during our five minute conversation. He responded every time with some version of “what good will that do?” What good indeed! And I’m not the only one.
I CONFESS, WRITING a scripture reflection for the bulletin is not my favorite task. It can be so very challenging because I wonder if I have anything worth saying, or if I have the wisdom to make fresh insights. The critic in me says, “it’s all been said before; you’re just gilding the lily.” The Gospel reading for this day is a good example of a story so well-worn, so familiar, that it seems (to me) all the pith and heat is gone—what more can I say? I’ve heard the narrative, understood the outcome, got the point: talking the talk is one thing, but walking the walk is what is necessary.
We all want to get in first; to find the best spot, to get the first choice, to get the freshest food. The line forms and when you’re first, you’re first. When you’re last, you’re last. We live our lives with this basic order and have been taught it since we were very young. It’s not nice to cut in line and doing so can elicit anger from those who feel unjustly treated. One of the best places to witness this behavior is at the airport. Don’t you dare try to board with seating #2 when you are clearly seating #3.
Written by parishioner, Sarah Flosi.
In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Saint Clement and our sister parish in El Salvador, a few parishioners from Saint Clement and a member of Millar Chapel at Northwestern spent time with the people of 22 de abril in May. As always, it was full of inspiring moments intermixed with the sad realities of day-to-day life in 22 de abril.