June 30th, 2019 – Feast of SS. Peter & Paul
Dear Friends in Christ,
Happy (almost) Fourth of July! I hope you and your family have a very blessed holiday this week. In the midst of the many other festivities, all are invited to attend Mass the morning of July 4th. It will take place at 9 A.M. at Three Holy Women – St. Hedwig’s Church. Hope to see you there! Safe travels to anyone visiting family or friends out of town.
Our readings this Sunday present a radical vision of the call to follow Jesus Christ, one that almost seems “too much” at first glance. In our first reading, after being called to succeed Elijah as prophet, Elisha is not given even the opportunity to say goodbye to his mother and father. In our Gospel, our Lord says: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God”. But when we are in love, don’t we all do crazy things? Such a response is natural when we have experienced that “God is not an abstract entity but a reality so great and strong that it fills human hearts to overflowing, he is a Person, alive and close, who loves us and asks to be loved” (Pope Benedict XVI, 6/27/2010 Angelus Address). I pray that we all continue to fall ever more deeply in love with our God who is so good and loving.
Finally, I will be away from the office from the afternoon of Sunday, July 7th through the evening of Thursday July 11th for a little vacation with some priest friends of mine. Many thanks to Fr. Tim for covering for me in my absence!
Have a good week and know of my prayers!
Sincerely, with love,
June 16th, 2019 – The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (in Latin, “Corpus Christi”). I share these verses from the well-known hymn Adoro Te Devote, written by Saint Thomas Aquinas specifically for this celebration:
This past week we hosted our Good News Adventure summer camp. Many thanks to our Family Ministry team of Anh Clausen, Brianna Pribek, and Rachel McGrew for their many hours of hard work to make this possible! What a joy it was to see so many children learning about God’s love for them. Thanks also to the many volunteers who gave so generously of their time this past week. The theme this year was “Life is Wild – God is good”. How true this is for all of us, no matter how young or old we are!
I hope these early days of summer have been blessed and restful! Have a good rest of your week and know of my prayers.
Sincerely, with love,
June 16th, 2019 – The Most Holy Trinity
“And I found delight in the human race.” (Proverbs, ch. 8)
On this feast of the Most Holy Trinity, our Scripture gives witness to a God who is all-powerful and magnificent, who created the universe, but who is also available and accessible to that creation, especially his beloved human race.
It goes without saying that things have happened, and continue to happen daily, that must cause such heartache for God. We humans have a crazy aptitude for not getting things right, for missing the mark, for sinning. We don’t follow the example of Christ in justice, peace, compassion, right living. We are divided, opinionated, ideological, judgmental. The human race has a long way to go to live the respect that all members of our human family deserve, from conception to natural death, regardless of race, creed, economic or national status.
And yet the Triune God continues to sustain us, to redeem us, to sanctify us, even in our perplexing stubbornness. Because God is love, and Love never quits. Love never fails.
So our prayers this Trinity Weekend is for the power of love to melt even the most frozen parts of our lives. We survived the polar vortex this winter. We can let love win, let God in, let Grace spring forth!
Have a great week.
Sincerely, with love,
June 9th, 2019 – Pentecost Sunday
Happy Solemnity of Pentecost! I pray that our lives may be filled with the Holy Spirit and the seven gifts which the Advocate brings: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
As we begin these days of June, a word of congratulations to all students as their school year comes to a close! I pray that it was a blessed year in growth of both knowledge and holiness. A special word of congratulations to our Eighth Grade students of Catholic East Elementary who graduated this past Thursday, June 6th. We are excited that many of our scholars have chosen to attend Catholic high school. Let us assure them of our prayers and best wishes for their future endeavors!
Finally, here in the parish we have begun our unofficial “wedding season”. We are very proud of the fact that we celebrate some of the most weddings each year in the Archdiocese. Congratulations to all newly married couples, and those preparing for marriage! Thousands of people each year enter our parishes to share in the celebration and so it is a wonderful opportunity for evangelization. So much hard work makes this ministry possible in our parishes. A special thank you to our liturgists, sacristans, cantors, and instrumentalists who work to make such beautiful liturgies.
A big thank you as well to all of our FOCCUS couples who help with the marriage preparation process. Saint John Paul II reminds us: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family”. Please keep all our newly married couples in your prayer, as well as all those involved in the important work of preparing them for the joys and challenges ahead.
Have a good rest of your week!
Love and prayers,
June 2nd, 2019 – The Ascension of the Lord
“Why are you standing there looking at the sky?”
(The Acts of the Apostles)
This question asked of our spiritual ancestors at the Ascension of Jesus seems an appropriate question for his followers today. At times, the detractors and doubters of the faith surmise that believers base their way of living on a pious, outdated, “other-worldly” and for the cynical, a totally unreliable and childish understanding of heaven and eternal life.
But for us who really understand, the backdrop of heaven not only gives us our goal, but our inspiration for how we are to live in these passing days of earthly existence. With our feet planted firmly on the soil of our experiences here, we are able to lift up the absolutely limited realities experienced so many ways in this limited world to the infinite horizon of the possible and the hopeful.
Heaven, and our desire to return to be with Jesus is not an escape but an invitation to make our church and communities as heavenly NOW so that the good news we have been given can be generously shared with others to make life better for us all.
The world needs Christians more than ever not as judges, nay-sayers, sour-faced souls or spoil sports, but as joy-filled beacons of hope and peace and justice, proclaiming loud and clear that our heavenly goal can be tasted even now in this valley of tears!
Be heavenly this week! Look up, but look around, and look out for others and take every chance you can to show them the face of Christ!
Sincerely, with love,