I placed this reflection in my 2003 Prayer Journal. I thought it had a good message for today's world and for me too.
Blessings and love, Fr. Jack.
1 Timothy 3:1-16. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion…
Clergy have been taking it on the chin in the media of late, all too often deserved. Hearts break when church leaders are tied to scandalous events, sexual abuse or its cover-ups, theft of money, or
tyrannical authority. No church is exempt from the scrutiny, and no church holds exclusive rights to having particularly bad men and women in the ministry. Wherever horrendous, illegal, or immoral acts occur they need to be addressed swiftly, correctly and morally-even if it’s the church to do so.
When people say their faith is deeply shaken by disclosure of inappropriate behavior or scandal by clergy, I remind them: no priest, no bishop died on the cross for you. Jesus did. Your salvation
depends on your faith in God and in his son Jesus Christ- not on clergy, or churches or hierarchies.
If you forget that, your faith is misplaced. The church is composed of frail, finite and sinful human beings. It will forever face scandals and sinful behavior. Yet it remains a wonderful and sacred mystery, a vessel of unique grace, because the gift of the Holy Spirit will not be driven out of it-even by the most corrupt of members, clerical or lay.
Written in "Forward Day by Day" by an unknown author, February 19, 2003.