Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our Gospel this weekend, we see the concern of the disciples for the welfare of the crowd that has gathered to listen to the preaching of Jesus. Two disciples are mentioned, with two similar outlooks on the situation. Philip sees the immensity of the situation and concludes that there are not enough resources to give the people even a little bit of food. John, however, sees hope in the few fish and loaves of bread the young person is carrying. Although he is optimistic, he still doubts that anything can be done.

The 2020 Olympics have begun in Tokyo, Japan. This worldwide event brings together athletes from around the world to compete for the title of Olympic champion. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this Olympic year is dramatically different from all former Olympics. There are critics that currently view this event solely from the pandemic point of view. Others, while keeping the pandemic in mind, view this Olympics with great optimism.

Jesus takes what is available and distributes it to the people, and there is enough for everyone to partake, with even leftovers for a later meal. Athletes, prepared for this life moment, will use their skills and talents so that we can engage in a world event built upon the following foundation: to build the common good and respect of all peoples.

Jesus provides physical food. The Olympics provides us with an appreciation for the hard work of athletes from around the world. What is our role in building a caring, just, and compassionate society? I point to the reality of what Jesus did: he sat down and saw, and he was present and attentive to the needs of the people. Not just spiritually but also physically. We too can do the same. Different from Philip and John, who gave in to the overwhelming situation, we need to be in solidarity with the needs of humanity, especially the underdeveloped areas of our world. The need is great. Giving in to the attitudes of Philip or John is not the Christian way. We need to do what we can, physically, financially, and spiritually, to help feed and provide hope to our brothers and sisters.

The weekend of August 7-8 will be our annual mission appeal. The pandemic has been immensely challenging to the Church’s missionary outreach. Jillian Foster, from the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, will present to us the challenges that face their missionary outreach in Haiti. She will speak at the beginning of Mass, and the second collect will be designated for this mission appeal. Financial donations can also be mailed or dropped off at the parish office. (Please mark Mission Appeal.) Saint Clement and Saint James have great histories of supporting the Church’s missionary outreach. Please continue this great tradition. (Due to this appeal, there will not be a collection for St. Augustine Hunger Center at St. Clement for August.)

This past week an article was written on about the progress of the St. James School building and rectory. I found the article to be very positive, not only for the renovation of those buildings but also for the life of the parish community and the City of Lakewood. Here is the link.

This Sunday is the Feast of St. James the Greater. We will have a solemn celebration at the 10:30am Mass. (This Mass will be livestreamed.) After Mass, thanks to the great work of the Knights of Columbus, we will gather in the courtyard for a hotdog social. All are welcome.

Jesus sat and saw, and because he did so was moved to help the crowd. May we take time to do the same, for the need of our brothers and sisters is great.

Christ’s Peace!
Fr. Workman

O glorious Apostle, St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane;

Thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor’s crown in heaven.