This Sunday's Gospel evokes memories of hearing this reading as a child, and the often-comical images of Zacchaeus portrayed in children’s Bible story books. I remember many a picture of a funny looking character hanging out of a tree, a silly narrative of a short man so intent on seeing Jesus that he climbed up into a tree. While the more humorous images from childhood stand out in my mind, the message is loud and clear: a curious Zacchaeus looks to Jesus, and the Son of Man saves “what was lost,” leading him to a conversion of heart.
Last Sunday, October 23 Megan Carroll received the Christifideles award at Holy Name Cathedral from Cardinal-Designate Blase Cupich, who urged all present to recognize the gift of the Spirit enlivening each of the honorees.
In this week's Gospel we hear a parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector. Both offer different prayers to God and both receive different responses. The Pharisee took a public place in the assembly and says: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.” His prayer focuses upon his personal good works and pits himself against others. It becomes a prayer of him (the good) versus them (the bad).
On Wednesday, November 2 we will celebrate All Souls Day. As special remembrance of those who have died over the past year will take place at the 7:00 p.m. Mass. We will remember the deceased members of our families, friends, the lonely and forgotten, and all those who touched our lives.
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 Michelle Edmonds:
Have you ever felt like you were nagging God? Persisting in asking God for a specific need or intention, day after day, awaiting a response? A friend of mine whose been going through a difficult time recently said to me, “I pray and pray and pray for an answer and it feels like God doesn’t hear me. I feel like God is holding out on me. What’s the point of praying?” Like my friend, I too have had that kind of experience in prayer, and I suspect we’re not the only ones!
This Sunday's Gospel is the reading most often heard at Thanksgiving Day Mass. The obvious theme is gratitude. Stopping to give thanks in a big way at least once a year as a nation is supported by scriptures. At least for a few minutes on Thanksgiving morning, prayers are offered before the rest of the Thanksgiving rituals (food, football, early bird Christmas shopping) ensue.
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 Kim Bjork: