The Beatitudes are the centerpiece of the Sermon on the Mount. They are proverb-like proclamations, concise and full of meaning. Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result.
The readings this weekend are a lot to unpack. Darkness, light, anguish, gloom, rejoicing, salvation, divisions, belong, crucified, baptized, emptied, fishers, called, followed. Where do we begin?
When I was little, my mother would often suggest reciting this weekend’s psalm, Psalm 27, if I woke in the middle of the night scared or afraid of the dark. I very much remember the solace it brought me. God was there.
Our Saint Clement community came together this holiday season to host our Second Annual Christmas Dinner for the Homeless. We served 123 guests in Centennial Hall on December 28!
Parishioners were ready to greet guests who arrive early for dinner with hot chocolate, a conversation, and a smile. Guests were welcomed where they were personally greeted again and were shown where to sit and relax in the warmth of the cafeteria.
Throughout Advent, Saint Clement parishioners once again reached out to those in need to share in the joy of the season. Through the generosity of parishioners, we were able to donate more than $15,500 in gift cards and donations, as well as more than 1,250 items of clothing, toys, and more, to the 10 charities we work with through the Jesse Tree.
The following gives a breakdown of the distribution:
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 Sarah Hamming:
Well, it is over. All of the December craziness. It’s now January in Chicago and many of us are feeling the blues and the Christmas hangover. As we are often reminded, the liturgical Christmas season just ended last week. This is long after stores stopped giving “joy” and our Christmas trees were bagged up. We also just celebrated Epiphany, which celebrates the gifts of the Magi and the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God. And now we are in Ordinary Time. Some Christian traditions refer to this time as The Time After Epiphany.
Back in 2005, I had the opportunity to travel to Cologne, Germany for World Youth Day with Pope Benedict XVI. The particular theme for that massive, international gathering of Catholic youth on the banks of the Rhine was taken from today’s Gospel reading: “We have come to worship him” (Mt 2:2). The theme for that year’s World Youth Day Celebration was chosen in part because the magnificent Kölner Dom, or Cologne Cathedral, is home to the relics of the Magi, whom we also read about in today’s Gospel.
Archbishop Cupich asked me to read the following letter at all the Masses at Saint Clement Parish Sunday, which I did. The Cardinal, as the letter indicates, has appointed me as the Administrator for Saint Clement Parish for six months, December 31 to June 30. There is a narrative about me posted below.