Who do we believe Jesus to be in our lives? Who do we say that he is? Do we experience him as a friend, brother, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, judge, advocate, prophet or priest? Each one of those titles and descriptions can reveal something of our relationship with him. Some relationships are comforting, beneficial, delightful while others can be challenging, for example, when he is prophet, advocate, or judge, no less priest or reconciler. In light of the grand jury report in Pennsylvania, at times we may not want to associate Jesus with the institutional church, the bureaucracy or organization that exists to promote the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments and bring the Body of Christ together. And yet it is the place I choose to be, to celebrate with you the great gift that Jesus gave us, the gift of Eucharist. The gift of Jesus’ very life as the one who was willing to sacrifice His life for us so that we might have life and have it to the full. It is in our moments of pain, our own woundedness we need healing and what better way than to receive the life of the Lord. As Joshua proclaimed long ago, “Me and my house we will serve the Lord.” In receiving the Lord we can serve Him and support one another.
When I think of all that has happened, I apologize for the sins and crimes of brother priests over the years who have tarnished and damaged the integrity of the church, have inflicted unspeakable pain and hurt because of their crimes upon innocent people who deserve better. The church as an institution was and never is perfect because human beings are imperfect and flawed. It is only by God’s grace, and the power of the Spirit that the church can endure and exist. It is through God’s grace that even we exist and live.
In the month of October we will pray weekly for healing in the church, pray for reconciliation among those who are hurting and in pain. We will pray for our own personal healing in whatever way we need healing. Together we can not only survive but thrive as God’s sons and daughters. Let not the sins of others determine our faith or our faith practice, let us walk in the light that is Christ. Let us come to the table, the table of the Lord. Blessings,
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor