A Message from the Pastor
Fr. Steven V. Neff, M. Div.
Nick Clinton, Seminarian
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want you
to think back to the time in the Gospel between the crucifixion of
our Lord and His glorious resurrection from the dead. I want
you to imagine that you are in the room with the Apostles as they
talked about what had just happened. They obviously were
talking about how Jesus was crucified horribly and died, but you
have to think that they were also talking about what Judas had done.
They were with him for three years as well—they ate with him, prayed
with him, laughed with him, and most likely performed miracles
together with him in Christ’s name. And just like that, Judas
betrayed not only Jesus, but he betrayed the trust and friendship of
Jesus’ other followers. In this time, they saw darkness
itself, the scandal of humanity which prefers to dwell in sin and
death rather than in the light of love.
I tell you this because it has been in my thoughts over the past few
weeks as these allegations came out about Cardinal Theodore
McCarrick and the impending release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury
Report into the Pennsylvania Dioceses, including our own. As
faithful Catholics, we stand looking at some of the leaders of our
Church and seeing only darkness. I wasn’t old enough (or even
Catholic at that point) to remember back to the 2002 scandal, but I
can only imagine that this is a similar feeling. The
allegations that have come out over the years have worn down so many
of our faithful that they can now only see darkness coming from the
doors of The Church.
So the question is what must we do to purify our Church? When
G. K. Chesterton was asked, ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ he
answered, ‘I am.’ I think that is a good answer for us too.
Some leave the Church because of its sins and go to another
community or even just turn to themselves to find holiness—only to
find darkness follows them there too. We know that this is
Christ’s Church and we are the body of that Church, thus we must be
like Him. We must, each of us, give ourselves over to the gift
of His grace and love. The work of redemption takes a
lifetime, let us today pray that all the darkness of the Church and
ourselves be illuminated as we are covered in the resurrected light
of Jesus Christ the Lord.
May the Good Shepherd continue to guide you,