After posting about volunteer, unpaid clergy, I was struck by the stories which life presented to me this evening.
On the one hand, a neighbor told me about a conversation with the pastor of a nearby church. Our neighbor noticed that the church had added another service, and casually inquired about the reason. The reply was: “Well, I figured out how much money I was getting per car, and I thought it would be good to see if I could double that, by filling the parking lot twice.”
On the other hand, I received a letter from a well-known and experienced spiritual director. Along with some others, he is giving a substantial amount of time to providing spiritual direction on a volunteer basis, in a very poor neighborhood in his city, to people (including some homeless folks) from whom it would be criminal to expect even a small donation. His reasoning? “Who needs sustained spiritual companionship, and a place to bring the challenges of life into God’s presence, more than the poor? And who did Jesus love more than the poor? How much did Jesus charge to spend time with them?”
The mysteries are neither bought nor sold. Who here was the true steward of the mysteries of Christ?