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February 2019 Weekly Bulletin Messages

Roses

February 24, 2019 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

“All happy families resemble one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
(Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)

Dear Friends,

Let’s just admit it: Relationships are complex, and the dynamics of family can be crazy! Our Scripture this Sunday starts with the puzzling relationship of David and Saul. Just when you think David can finally get even, he gives mercy. Then our Gospel. Just when you think Jesus can give clear direction about how to live and love, he gives seemingly impossible direction about love, even love for one’s enemies.

I guess the point is there is no human logic that can quite capture the plan God has for this crazy human family he has brought into being.

The rule is love. Period. No qualification, no calculation, no condition. If you make any mistake, let it be the mistake of mercy.

So the simple call this week—cut somebody some slack. Even if they are very different from you, even if they are on the different side of the political aisle, even if they have hurt you, even if they are a family member who should know better,even if they are a stranger who is so different from you that distance seems the best way, even if they absolutely get on your nerves—they are your key to the kingdom of Heaven!

Lots to think about and pray for help.

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim

February 17, 2019 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“And we who have always thought of happiness as climbing, would feel the emotion that almost startles when happiness falls.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

Dear Friends,

It goes without saying we all work too hard at being happy. As the philosopher Aristotle aptly notes, we all want to be happy. Unfortunately we are conditioned from an early age on that happiness is earned, the by-product of hard work and planning and more often just for the lucky or privileged.

And then we hear this Sunday’s Gospel in which Jesus tells us we are blessed, in some translations happy, in all sorts of surprising situations, like being poor or hungry or weeping or being hated or excluded or insulted or denounced. We should “leap for joy!”

What is that all about? Maybe Jesus, like the poet, is hinting that we are already happy before circumstance or effort. Maybe being with him at our side allows us to find in all circumstances the true nature of happiness. A person in relationship with Jesus is already assured of everything needed to be happy.

Let Jesus into your heart, and you have my word: True happiness will fall. Like the snow. (Ok, maybe not a good comparison, but you get the point!)

Be the happiness which is already yours, in Jesus!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim

February 10, 2019 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“I shall pass this way but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
(Etienne De Grellet)

Dear Friends,

In today’s Gospel there is an immediacy which becomes the way of being for Jesus. He wants to preach and be heard so he jumps into a boat so the crowd would have maximum exposure to his message. Then he heads out to deep water so his friends can make a huge catch.

Great things happen with small steps. The world, so spinning out of control these days, will be saved not by our magnificent actions, and not by our paltry attempts at human organizing, but by those of us who believe in basic human goodness, kindness and decency, living our faith, sustaining our hope and incarnating our love in actions for others, doing so knowing that Christ will work things out through us without our even knowing it!

Let’s get going! The boat is waiting, the catch is waiting, and we just have to say yes!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim/

We begin the Catholic Stewardship Appeal, this year under the theme “Amazing Grace”. Please be as generous as possible. The many efforts of the work of the Church depend on your help. All registered parishioners have received a mailing, and envelopes are available at all of our churches. Thanks!

Mail your pledge to the Catholic Stewardship Appeal, 3501 S. Lake Drive, Milwaukee or give online at: www.catholicappeal.org

February 3, 2019 – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

I hope that everyone stayed safe and warm this past week! Thanks for your patience with the closures and cancellations of our parish offices and various activities. We especially remembered in prayer all of the homeless and anyone who might have been exposed to the bitter cold this week.

Yesterday, the universal Church celebrated the World Day for Consecrated Life. Our second reading today from 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that all of us share the vocation to love with the love of Jesus Christ, the love that “never fails”. We give thanks to God for how the vocation to love is lived out in the many beautiful forms of consecrated life. In a particular way, we thank all of the women’s religious that serve so generously in our parishes – the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida, to name a few.

This Friday, February 8th, I leave to make my annual silent retreat, and so will be away from the parishes for about a week. Please know of my prayers for all of you during this time! I will be away from e-mail access during this time, and will return phone messages upon my return on February 16th.

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John