St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – September 4, 2022


Today’s readings continue the theme of humility explored last Sunday. All three readings today encourage us to admit that we have limits, and God has none. The poignant poetry of Wisdom resonates with all of us who have ever struggled for peace in situations we cannot control: “For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.” Saint Paul recognizes his own limitations, both physically (he is in prison) and spiritually: he cannot compel his friend to obey his wishes; he can only propose his request and respect Philemon’s free will. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that God alone can complete the good we wish to do in the world. While we thank God for the gifts we receive—and the families we love—we acknowledge that they are temporary, and humbly cling to God.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – August 28, 2022


Today’s readings praise the virtue of humility and offer concrete ways for us to become more humble. The Book of Sirach suggests a practical reason for acting with humility: humble people are more likeable than the arrogant. Even God “finds favor” with those who humble themselves. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus provides real-world suggestions for growing in humility and teaches us never to assume we are better than others. His words change our outward behavior and expand our hearts and minds to care about people we might have dismissed before. This practical, almost “folksy” wisdom about humility helps us behave better in daily life and makes our lofty goal of eternal life more accessible. Our reading from Hebrews affirms that heaven is indeed approachable. The personal love and sacrifice of Jesus have opened “the city of the living God” to us. Humility prepares us for paradise.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – August 21, 2022

God’s People Gather

Our readings today remind us of the larger story of the Bible, of God’s purposes and promises for the world. Because of humanity’s rejection of God, as told in Genesis, human communities were first dispersed. Isaiah proclaims that one day God will gather these communities to be healed and reconciled with God. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus echoes Isaiah and teaches that all peoples in God’s promised future “will recline at table in the kingdom of God.” Notice that in Isaiah, the nations coming to God do not lose their ethnicity or unique identity. They bring their own distinct cultural gifts to God’s table. Each people has its unique history with God, has received distinct blessings from God, and each is accountable to God. Today, we live in a global and multi-cultural Church. When God’s diverse peoples gather in worship today, may we honor and celebrate each other’s gifts and blessings.

© J. S. Paluch Co.