Message from Fr. David, April 3, 2022

I am excited to announce that after important upgrades to the church security cameras and church door access, beginning Monday, April 4th the church will be open for prayer during the week.

Please note that those wishing to visit the church during visiting hours can only do so by entering the church using the set of doors closest to the statue of Mary in the colonnade.

Providing a space for people to pray and be with the Lord during the work week is super important for me and the Saint James staff. We ask for your consideration when visiting the church. Let us all do our part in
keeping our church safe, clean and comfortable.

Church Visiting Hours
Monday – Friday: 8am to 2:30pm
Saturday: 9qm – 1pm

The incident in our Gospel this Sunday shows vividly the often-cruel attitude of the scribes and Pharisees. We hear that “the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.” All I can imagine is how embarrassed, ashamed, and dehumanized that poor woman must have felt – how cruel of those so-called religious figures to have acted in such a despicable way. But then Jesus steps in and things change. Two attitudes vividly stand out in our gospel scene:

  • The cruel attitude of the scribes and Pharisees
  • The compassionate attitude of Jesus

We should loathe the cruel actions by the scribes and Pharisees in our Gospel passage, but we should do so acknowledging that the Cruelty Culture is very much the norm today.

It’s evident from interactions in our daily lives that many of our exchanges include a dose or more of intentional cruelty. Whether by
sarcastic remarks made in a conversation or by disparaging posts on social media. Somehow, cruelty has become a method of charging our conversations.

The reality is that we are now immersed in a culture that has seduced us into grasping and clinging on to characterizations of ourselves and others. We are immersed in a culture that says “YOU ARE…”
• the political party you’re registered with…
• your sexual orientation…
• your job…your I.Q…your athletic ability…your sin, so on and so forth…

What ends up happening is that we grasp onto these identities with a firm grip. In our social interactions, we may look for cues that serve to reinforce our prejudices rather than listening so that we may better
understand where the “other” is coming from, thus acknowledging their individual complexities and their inherent dignity. We figure we don’t need to understand someone if we can just paint them with a broad brush and call it a day.

That’s what the scribes and Pharisees clearly put on display for us. They reduced someone to something. The broad brush which they used to paint the woman was adulteress. They weren’t looking on this woman as a person at all; they were looking on her only as a thing, an object characterized by her action. To them she had no name, no personality, no feelings, no complexity; she was simply an adulteress, a pawn, in the game whereby they sought to destroy Jesus.

Friends, it is always wrong to regard people as things; and the extent to which we allow that to happen makes it harder to avoid an attitude of cruelty. Because the minute someone becomes a something, the spirit of Christianity is dead.