TITLE: Shocked and Surprised
DATE: January 18, 2019
TEXT: Ephesians 2: -19 ESV - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
When you are in a position of authority, there are jobs which you look forward to doing and other jobs which you hope will never come your way.
I have to believe a recent letter from Monsignor Michael Meyers to parents of students at Saint James Catholic School in Torrance, California, fit into the second category. In part, this is what he wrote:
"I want to assure you that the investigation has disclosed that, notwithstanding this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations,….In sum, the education of your children has not and will not be affected by these events."
Of course you may not know what events Monsignor Meyers was referring to. Let me bring you up to speed. Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper spent 29-years as the Principal of St. James school. Sister Lana Chang had been an 8th grade teacher for two decades and the school’s Assistant Principal for the last few years.
Both retired at the end of the 2018 school year and their books of the school were checked as standard operating procedure. What they found was over the years the Sisters had siphoned off at least $500,000…. TO FINANCE THEIR GAMBLING TRIPS TO Las Vegas.
Yes, that’s half-a-million dollars.
In his letter, Monsignor Meyers added, “They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school.”
Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have lost some faith here. Here’s why.
I was raised in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood and there was a nunnery across the street from us. It was normal to see the Sisters walking down our block and we were always taught to be respectful in our greeting. In their black-and-white habits they seemed to be very special.
And these two high-rolling sisters have made the sisterhood seem not so special.
Having pointed that accusing finger at some good, albeit sinful, Christians, I wonder how many times my language, my lifestyle, my habits have upset others? I wonder how many times others have taken a look at me and said, “So, is that really the way the followers of Jesus are to behave? Is that what it means to have your sins forgiven?”
All of which means I am going to have to try harder to show how the sacrifice of the Savior creates a new heart and an individual ready to produce good works.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for the many times I have been less than a sterling follower of the Savior my deepest regret and apology. Now I pray You will grant me the ability to offer a positive witness to Him Who has saved me with His lifeblood as the price. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by . Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 11, 2018 for Find Law. Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://blogs.findlaw.com/legally_weird/2018/12/2-nuns-funnel-500000-from-catholic-school-to-fund-vegas-gambling-vacations.html#more
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html