"Fr. James, what's your favorite food?"
Ah, one of the questions I am asked quite frequently by children (and sometimes adults).
"Deep dish pizza."
"Which deep dish, Fr. James?" comes the follow-up.
"Lou Malnati's," I respond without hesitation.
There are usually no objections to that response. I even receive a few nods in agreement. It's unlike last spring when a 7th grader asked, "Fr. James, what do you like better, Mug's or Phil's pizza?" My response divided the class.
Yes, Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza is my favorite food. But I wouldn't consider eating it every day. Maybe when I was in college, but not now. I would gain weight, feel miserable, and probably end up hating Malnati's. Pizza is good, but not that good.
OK, you probably see where this is going, or at least the connection to the readings and to the Gospel, which is again this week from John 6 about the Eucharist.
The first reading, from the Book of Proverbs, says, "Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding" (Prv 9:6).
It would be foolishness to eat pizza every day. In fact, it would be foolishness to eat any one particular food every single day. My 4-year-old nephew has tried it with mac n' cheese. It doesn't work.
But actually, there is one particular food that we can eat every day. Yep, you guessed it. It's the Body of Christ. The Eucharist. "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" (Jn 6:55).
At Mass, and also daily Mass, we receive the best possible food for us. It's healthier than anything out there. I suppose I should respond differently to the children’s question about my favorite food.
I’m sorry to share some unfortunate news. Fr. Emanuel’s father, Eugenio Torres, passed away somewhat unexpectedly last week. Fr. Emanuel is currently in Mexico with his family. Notes of condolences can be sent to the parish office. Eugenio is survived by his wife, four children, and three grandchildren. Please keep Fr. Emanuel and his entire family in your prayers.
We welcome Fr. Tim Monahan, the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Chicago, to celebrate the 5pm Mass this Saturday, August 18th. (Fr. Emanuel was originally scheduled to celebrate the Mass.) We’re grateful to have the visit from Fr. Tim, who is a very good friend of mine.
School starts this Monday, August 20th! Welcome back students, parents, and teachers. I hope you had a nice summer break and are refreshed for the start of a new year.
The St. Juliana Queen of Hearts Raffle is chugging along nicely. The queen of hearts card was not pulled the first week, and as of my composing this letter, the pot is well over $5,000. Remember, you have to buy a ticket each week to be able to win. Tickets are destroyed after the Thursday night drawing and we start over again, though the pot rolls over. Tickets can be purchased in the back of the church, the parish office (from 9am-3:30pm), and at the Emerald Isle and Firewater in Edison Park.
Putting the Queen of Hearts raffle together was a bit more complicated than one might expect, and many individuals have worked very hard to make it happen. I want to thank Kim McAuliffe, Dana Oswald, David and Lori Plier, Retail First Corp for all the advertising, marketing, and raffle item donations, Anastasia Jakubow, Donna Furlan, Diane Holmen, Ray Balcarcel, Julie Hammerle, Tim Lynch, Jenny Jablonski, the folks at Emerald Isle and Firewater, and many others.
Yours in Christ,