I'm not sure if it’s the summer heat, or the recent time spent with my four year old niece, but today’s psalm is making me think of the movie Frozen. The psalm’s refrain—“If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts”—seems like an appropriate summary for a set of challenging Scripture readings this Sunday. As I began to reflect on hardened hearts, I couldn’t help but recall the opening song of the Disney hit: “Beware the Frozen Heart.”
As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from David and Heather Bennett:
In Greek mythology there is a story about the father of all gods, Zeus, who once visited the earth with his son, Hermes. They disguised themselves as weary travelers and knocked on many doors in their search for shelter but only to be ignored until they came to a small cottage in which an old couple welcomed them and offered them hospitality. But as the wine was drunk it renewed itself in the pitcher, and the old couple were struck with terror when they realized they were entertaining gods.
You’ve heard the old adage, “There are two seasons in Chicago—winter and construction!”
Well, Saint Clement is now beginning its own construction season. You’ll notice a few things around the campus:
You’ll notice dumpsters outside the school…
Today's Gospel passage by Luke starts with a scholar of the law trying to test Jesus. His test is one that concerns all of us, what must we do if we want to inherit eternal life? This wasn’t a concern of the lawyer, it was only meant to try to trip Jesus up. Jesus gives the reply that you shall love God and your neighbor as yourself. This wasn’t good enough for the lawyer who then asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus takes this opportunity to expand on who our neighbor is by way of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In last Sunday's Gospel, Jesus called his disciples to “follow me.” In this Sunday’s passage he is sending them out on mission. I’ve always struggled with the call to mission, largely because I tend to think of missionaries in a rather limited sense. The first image that comes to mind is someone who has sold all they have, moved halfway around the world, and is working to care for the poor and promote the faith.
By way of full disclosure let me begin by saying I find these readings difficult at best. Between the present moment and these ancient readings, the vast distance of time and place weigh heavy on my understanding. So bear with me as I cautiously sift through these words.