St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

106 N. Meramec Avenue – Clayton MO 63105 – Parish Office (314) 726-1221

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – July 31, 2022

The Center of a Meaningful Life

Today’s readings invite us to reflect upon some of life’s deepest questions, and to explore the meaning of faith. We hear of the universal human search for meaning in our lives in the book of Ecclesiastes. In Luke’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ parable about one who foolishly seeks ultimate security through the accumulation of wealth. In Colossians, faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ is proclaimed as the path to a richly purposeful and meaningful life. The path of Christian faith places our work, our sufferings, and our limitations within the larger picture of God’s purposes for all of us. In Jesus, God is revealed as our companion in human suffering and limitation. God’s love is at the center of a meaningful life. We place our trust in this loving God, who created us to share in this love, and to share this love with others.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – July 24, 2022

Conversation with God

Prayer is our focus this weekend. In the Gospel, Jesus gives his disciples, and us, the Lord’s Prayer, which we have cherished through the centuries. The first two words encompass much about our faith—unity among all Christians (Our), and a sense that we are in a deeply bonded relationship with God (Father).

In Genesis, we see Abraham in conversational prayer, in his creaturely humility before his Creator, seeking mercy and compassion for the innocent. The psalm is a lyrical prayer of thanksgiving and praise for the God who answered the sincere prayers of a people who had called out for help, showing them mercy. In Luke’s Gospel, the disciples want to pray like Jesus, with the same intimacy—to experience God as Abba in the depths of their being. Do we try to talk to God?

Do we listen for answers? This relationship is always a work in progress.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – July 17, 2022

Prayer and Service

How do we bring balance and joy to our lives of prayer and service to our loving God? In the Gospel today, Jesus tells Martha that her concern about doing the right thing as dictated by Jewish tradition might not be the best use of her energies. Her sister, Mary, who sits in rapt attention at Jesus’ feet, should not be rebuked. Is Jesus trying to show Martha that she needs to make time for her spiritual nourishment? Abraham and Sarah in the first reading seem to be just like Martha. And yet Abraham’s eager welcome and joyful serving of his “visitors” seems almost spiritual. How like Paul, in the second reading, rejoicing in his service to the gospel! We hear in the psalm that those who do justice will live in the Lord’s presence. Prayer and service—what greater joy could there be?

© J. S. Paluch Co