Sometime ago on a plane from Italy to Chicago, I was fascinated to see the snowcapped Swiss Alps in all their splendor and majesty. In the Bible, mountains and hills are frequently mentioned and have their significance. They are often places where God’s presence is manifested and experienced. In the Old Testament, Moses receives the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai that contained the Law. It is on Mount Sinai that God enters into a covenant with the people of Israel.
Does the day before Fat Tuesday have a name? Pre-Gorging-Mayhem Monday? Well, it is on this Monday that I am writing this reflection, so I’m amused that the upcoming weekend’s Scripture focuses on overcoming temptation. I admit, I am not thinking about resisting temptation at the moment, but instead I am planning tomorrow’s indulgences. I have placed my pączki order at my local bakery to be picked up tomorrow. Fat Tuesday is really just Pączki Day to me, and a good portion of my food intake tomorrow indeed will be these traditional Polish doughnuts.
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 the Recker Family:
How will I make next month’s rent?
How will I pay for my child’s education?
How will I afford cancer treatment?
Have you ever been sitting at Mass, perhaps not entirely focused on what is happening around you for whatever reason, and all of the sudden it is as if one of the readings was specifically picked just for you, for that particular moment in time? It has happened to me several times over the years and it happened when I pulled up the scriptures for today to starting writing this reflection. It is as if God is saying in each of the readings, loud and clear, “Now pay attention! This one is for you. I can help if you let Me!”
Thank you to all the parishioners who participated in the February 6 town hall meeting hosted by Bishop Kane and members of the Priest Placement Board. Approximately 75 people were present to discuss the strengths and challenges of the parish and the qualities needed in our next pastor. The Bishop and priests held similar discussions that night with the parish staff, as well as members of the Pastoral, Finance, and Stewardship Councils.
WHEN I WAS seven years old my mother and father asked me if I would like to take piano lessons, or so I am told. I have no explicit memory of the event however my response was something like “yes” and so I began. At the time we had no piano at home and so, if I was to spend any time practicing for my lessons, my father would bring me to church in the evenings and while he sat in meetings I