A Problem We Want

Dear Parishioners,

How I wish we had the problem today that is present in our Gospel this Sunday! “The whole town was gathered at the door” (Mk 1:33). Jesus is so successful preaching and healing that he can barely move. He has no time for himself. He runs off early in the morning to a quiet place to pray. But even this doesn't work. “Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’” (Mk 1:36-37).

These people wanted Jesus so badly. They pursued him relentlessly. Why? Because Jesus is good for them. He is good for us. Jesus makes us whole. He heals us. He inspires us to be better people. He unites us to the Father, which is our ultimate purpose and fulfillment. “Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted (Ps 147).”

How haunting is the first reading from the Book of Job! If you are depressed, read this passage. “Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?....So I have been assigned months of misery...Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again” (Job 7:1-4, 6-7).

We've all been in a desolate place like Job. Jesus is our answer. I bet all those people in Capernaum wanted more out of their life, hence their jaunt to Jesus. We are no different than these people 2,000 years ago. May we go longingly towards Jesus. May the whole town of Edison Park gather at the doors of St. Juliana.

This is Commitment Weekend for the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal. We are called to answer Jesus' call to follow Him in thought, word, and deed by providing the necessary contribution to fund ministries and services to share God's love with many others in our parish and our Archdiocese. The Archdiocese of Chicago does so much for the City of Chicago and for the universal Church, and we all know how important St. Juliana is to the lives of so many. Your contribution to the ACA allows us to continue to function and make a difference. Please remember that the ACA is not a one-time special collection, but rather a pledge campaign where you can make a more generous gift payable in installments. Cardinal Cupich and myself are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Our seminarian, Hank Lyon, begins his spring internship this weekend at St. Juliana. Hank is in his second year of theology at Mundelein Seminary, which means he is two years away from being ordained a priest. Hank has been coming to the parish since the fall, both on the weekends and on Wednesday nights to teach 6th grade religious ed, but he will now reside with us full time until the middle of May. All second year students do this. Hank will shadow me (brace yourself, Hank!), teach in the school, lector, EM, and serve at Mass, attend meetings, help with wakes, and much more. Please introduce yourself to Hank when you see him.

Today, Sunday February 4th at 3:30pm in the church will be the next session of our 3 Cs in Christ. I will lead the discussion this time, unpacking the book Jesus Shock!, and dialoguing about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Don't worry, we will finish in time for the Super Bowl. Be sure to look for the debut of our new book, Broken Mary, on Ash Wednesday.

This weekend we continue the sock drive, as well as the Souper Bowl collection. On Monday school board meets at 7pm, and Tuesday is First Reconciliation for 2nd graders in both our school and RE programs. Wednesday I have a teaching Mass with the 4th grade RE students, and the Knights of Columbus have their meeting in the evening at St. John Brebeuf. The Knights, by the way, did a great job last weekend with the Free Throw Contest in our gym.

It was great to celebrate Mass last week at Resurrection (see picture with all the St. Juliana alumni)!

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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