Our first reading from Sirach says, “Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the LORD? Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself, can he seek pardon for his own sins?” In our Gospel today, Jesus tells a story in which a servant is forgiven a great debt, and then, the same servant goes on to treat a fellow servant—who owes him a much smaller sum—without mercy.
We will kick-off our Season of Stewardship on Sunday, September 24 with the parish’s Anchor Fest (formerly Fall Fest). Join us after the 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. Masses for this much beloved annual community event, complete with a backyard barbeque, and fun and games for children.
The reading this weekend seem a daunting task. In Ezekiel, we hear the warning to “speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way…” and in Matthew, Jesus directs us to tell our “brother” what his fault is, in an effort to win him over. Doesn’t seem like we’re meant to make any friends, right? My Harmony side tends to initially think, “Is it my place?” The short answer is yes. But, from a place of love and encouragement.
Once a month, Saint Clement publishes stories of parishioners sharing personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement and who actively live a stewardship life through prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from the Emma Christensen:
As Americans, we are blessed to have, generally speaking, the freedom to exercise our religion. For many years, Catholicism was looked on with disfavor and suspicion. My father and I used to laugh about the time, about 20 years ago, when he was seeking a job in Alabama. During the course of the interview, the prospective boss asked an illegal question: “Are you Christian?” Dad was initially taken aback but he answered, “Yes, I am. In fact, my son is a priest.” The man looked at my Dad like he had grown two heads.
Our thoughts, prayers, and solidarity remain with those suffering from Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast. The Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity of the Archdiocese of Chicago has started an emergency appeal to help those immediately affected by this unprecedented and catastrophic storm. Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, needs our support to ensure delivery of care and support to individuals and families affected by the hurricane, regardless of religion, social, or economic background.
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “church?” Having posed this question to several RCIA and confirmation classes over the years, I’ve discovered that the answers to this question are as many and varied as the people in a room. While answers often include specific people, buildings, objects, actions, ecclesial structures and authorities, the word “church” encompasses many realities.