We're back in the thick of Ordinary Time and the start of summer, and we're back to hearing the parables in the Sunday Gospels. This 11th Sunday we have two parables dealing with the growth of the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 4:26-34).
The first parable indicates the Kingdom of God doesn't come suddenly and all at once. There is a process to it: “first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.” The Catholic Church didn't get to where it is today, over a billion members worldwide existing in structured dioceses and parishes, immediately after Pentecost. It took time. And there were setbacks and challenges along the way (there still are).
It's similar in the spiritual life. We don't become saints overnight. It takes a lifetime and there's a process. We fulfill our daily obligations; we overcome a particular sin or bad habit; we foster a virtue or act of charity; we deepen our level of prayer and time spent with the Lord.
Oftentimes, we're not even sure how we become holy or if we are holy. That's the first part of the first parable. The man who scatters seed, “knows not how.” There is a hiddenness to holiness. The hidden life is sometimes the most beautiful life of all.
Our long-time Director of Operations, Jeanne Anderson, notified me two weeks ago that she will be finishing her time here at St. Juliana next month. Jeanne had this to say, “Saint Juliana Parish and its people have been an enormous part of my life for nearly 30 years. I've raised my family here and it will be forever our home, no matter where we work or reside. I've been offered a position that will allow me to apply the full depth of experience and intellectual capital that I have earned during my tenure here, as well as my God-given gifts for all things technological, for the benefit of many parishes and non-profit organizations here and across the country. It's an exciting opportunity for individual and institutional growth, both in the short- and long-term.”
I am grateful to Jeanne for all of her years of service. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We have begun the process of finding Jeanne's replacement(s) and I am hopeful there will be a seamless transition next month. Please pray for the parish as we seek to fulfill this very significant position.
We also, once again, wish Father Laurent all the best in his next assignment at St. Joseph's Parish in Wilmette. Father Laurent celebrated his last Mass at the parish this weekend. Father Laurent was a good companion and had an unmistakable laugh and smile. God bless you Father Laurent!
All the priests of the Archdiocese will gather this week for a time of prayer, reflection, and fraternity. It is a mandatory gathering that occurs once every three years, called the “Priest Convocation.” It happens at Pheasant Run in St. Charles. I will be away, therefore, Tuesday through Thursday. Please check the bulletin for the liturgy schedule, as we will have some communion services schedules instead of Masses.
There is still a chance to sign up for Totus Tuus if you haven’t already, teens included. The summer faith formation program runs from July 9th-July 13th.
If you have a spare moment, please keep us all in your prayers during this time of transition. Otherwise enjoy the nice weather!
Yours in Christ,