Clergy Days is always a refreshing time to be away from the parish for a few days. It’s one of the few times that we can be together with our brother priests and deacons, and our beloved shepherd, Bishop Swain. It is also a time of work and study. Each year we have a different presenter who speaks to us on a variety of religious issues. This year, Dr. Leroy Huizenga walked us through an exegetical survey of the Gospel of Mark. It was interesting and insightful. You can never get too much bible study as a priest. But perhaps the best part of Clergy Days is commiserating and reminiscing with our brother priests. We enjoy each other’s company. You would think that the younger guys would hang together, and the older guys would do the same. But it’s quite eclectic. Generally, the fun we have is based on interests, not age. All in all, we are given the opportunity to visit with everyone. That common bond of serving Christ in the parish transcends any differences we might have due to our age or the nature of our assignments: Some guys are younger; some guys are older. Some like football, others like baseball. Some are in large parishes; some in small parishes. Some have three or four parishes; some have one parish. Some have no parish at all, but do hospital ministry, prison ministry, and so forth. Whatever the assignment, we know that when we gather together, everything breaks down because of the faith we share as servants of Jesus Christ. We are “stamped” in the image of Christ. Let’s not forget that all of us – bishop, priests, deacons and people – have been “stamped” in Christ’s image. We rightfully belong not to Caesar, or even to ourselves, but to the Lord who breathed life into our nostrils. We were created by Him…and redeemed by the Precious Blood of His Son. St. Paul says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Do we acknowledge that our lives and everything we possess belongs to God? And do we give to God what rightfully belongs to Him? Good questions to ponder as the leaves turn color this time of the year and fall to the ground.