A Message from Father William

Jesus uses parables again this Sunday (Matthew 13:44-52) to help us understand His Kingdom and His call for us to be members of His Kingdom. The stories about a farmer and a merchant refer to the value of things in their life – yet the parables point to a deeper meaning as they refer to the Kingdom of Heaven and how God calls us to be children of His Kingdom.

We begin to live as children of God’s Kingdom when, by God’s grace, we decide to follow Jesus, to obey His teachings and make our friendship with Him our highest priority, our greatest value, for then we begin to live life to the full, under God’s protection and His guidance. Our lives then become renewed in purpose, as all our relationships, actions and decisions get conformed to Jesus and to Life Eternal in Heaven. We become free from the frustration and meaninglessness that comes from living only for the passing, superficial pleasures and successes of this life, because we’ve found something infinitely more valuable: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Son, with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. This relationship, with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is our treasure and pearl of great value that alone gives us the joy and peace we yearn for in the depths of our hearts.

In our parish family of Saint Clement, please know that I’m praying that we all keep
striving to deepen in our relationship with Jesus Christ, to live life to the full in Him.
Please pray for me and all priests to cooperate with God’s grace, to be instruments of His love and mercy, to sanctify, teach and to govern, serving our wonderful parish churches and schools. As we live life to the full in God, He gives us the grace to witness to His love and mercy in the world. “The power of the Holy Spirit never ceases to fill the Church with life,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said. “God’s love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within.” And we allow this change, this renewal, when we: pray; do God’s will (love of God and love of neighbor); spend time with His Word; frequent the Sacraments; and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit – bringing renewal to a world suffering from “shallowness, apathy, and self-absorption that deaden our souls and poison our relationships.”

By God’s grace, let us courageously keep witnessing to Christ by allowing the truth of the Gospel to permeate the way we see, think and act, working for the triumph of His love, bringing the Gospel message to a society that desperately needs, but often rejects, the Gospel. Let us bring God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, into all our conversations, in our family, home, school and work, inviting and encouraging everyone to a communion of love and mercy. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of love, of genuine service to others (vs. the evil spirit of hatred, division and destruction that we see in the media, political leaders and radical Marxist-based groups overrunning some our cities and states). As children of the Kingdom, let us live in the Spirit, bearing His fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity (Galatians 5:22-23). May selfless love be our mission as we invite all people to seek and follow Jesus Christ and be conformed to Him in all His glory, and as we continue to pray for one another and joyfully give witness to the infinite value of being His disciples.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William Vernon