Many of the U.S. Bishops met at Mundelein Seminary this past week for a retreat to pray over the sex abuse scandal in the Church and guidance in moving forward. Because of the spin we see put so often on these events, Father Paul would recommend you read the Pope’s letter he sent to the bishops. He expresses his deep and anxious hope that the Church can move in an honest and compassionate direction. Read his letter here.
Look to the margins.
If you desire to see the face of Christ in the world, look to the margins. This is one of the most important themes of the Gospel, and it has never been more necessary than at the start of 2019.
The story is told of a theologian who had a painting of the crucifixion of Jesus in his study. It showed John the Baptist with a long bony finger pointing to Jesus. One day a visitor asked, “What is your job?” The theologian walked over to the painting and said, “I am that finger.”
On this 2nd Sunday of Advent, we have John calling for repentance. I imagine if we saw John preaching today, we might be put off a bit. He wore animal skins, didn’t bathe, and existed on locus and honey. When he preached, he didn’t mince words. He was direct and to the point. In today’s reading, he is preaching “repent.” Repent from your sins. This message was being spread by him through the entire region of Judea. Michael Simone, S.J. who teaches in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College says “John’s apocalyptic preaching was popular.
O come, o come Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear!...
Sin the beginning of time, people have risen to become kings and to seek dominion over civilization. Some have come close such as Caesar and Hitler. And some kingdoms, like the Roman Empire, lasted for many centuries. These kings and empires jealously protected their power, they sought to become more powerful, and they did not let anyone get in their way. Despite everything, they all had one thing in common: they ultimately passed away and their kingdoms passed with them. The years of plundering, death, and self-glorification simply scattered like dust.
I recall being terrified as a child by any thought or mention of Jesus’ second coming, and much of the language coming out of Revelation. It was too big—often dark, too abstract—somewhat terrifying. I couldn’t help but get swept up in the great unknown of it. Even today I struggle with it, and Mark’s use of “tribulation,” sun “darkened,” moon not showing its “light,” stars “falling from the sky.” It catches my breath.
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.