28 Jul

Ask and you shall receive

Father James with his two nephews: Luke (age 4) and Sebastian (age 2) 

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 28, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

I have mentioned my nephews and niece in homilies before.  They are ages four, two, and one.  In addition to simply the joy I receive spending time with them, there is always some lesson or message I also take away by our encounters. 

Swimming with them is one of those insightful experiences.  My nephews, Sebastian and Luke, in particular love going in the water.  When it is time for them to go out of the pool and dry off they cry, yearning to get back in.  They stand on the deck and hold their arms out, indicating for me to grab them and pull them in.

Now, I'm not their father (I guess I'm their uncle-father?), but our interaction made me think of my relationship with God, whom Jesus tells us to call our Father and to ask him for things. 

21 Jul

Contemplative prayer

Father James with his five friends from seminary: Fr. Pat (Mobile). Fr. Adam (Kansas City), Fr. Victor (Mobile), Fr. Alex (Scranton), Fr. Anthony (Harrisburg).

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 21, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

A wise person once told me that true love doesn't consist in saying 'I love you'.  Think about when you're with your spouse, or your brother or sister, or your best friend.  When you're watching TV together, or fishing together, or having dinner, you may be sitting in silence, but love is being expressed.  Love is a reception of the other person's presence.  That is the ultimate goal for prayer.  That is what we call contemplation, and that's the point I want to make from the Martha-Mary Gospel.

14 Jul

Preoccupation

Father James with an employee of Wrigley Field after he said Mass for the Chicago Cubs

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 14, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

Preoccupation.  That, to me, is one of the themes of the parable of the Good Samaritan from today's Gospel.

The priest passes by the victim because the priest is on his way to the temple to worship. The priest will be delayed and, furthermore, if he comes into contact with a potential non-Jew (remember, the man has been beaten and stripped, so there's no way to identify him as a Jew or Gentile), the priest will be impure and have to go through ritual washings, delaying him even more.  The priest is too preoccupied.  He needs to serve God by getting to the temple.  He passes the beaten man by.

07 Jul

Rejoice because your names are written in heaven...

Fathers. Derek, James, Connor, and Tom will be looking to win the priest golf outing this year

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 7, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

"Rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). In baseball, a defining moment is before the game even starts when the manager writes up in the dugout on a piece of paper the starting lineup.  If you're an everyday player, it's not that big of a deal, but if you're a player who plays sometimes, it is significant.  If your name is written on the lineup card, you're focused, you loosen up, pay attention to the pitcher throwing warm-up pitches.  If you're out of the lineup, you relax, pop some more sunflower seeds, and are somewhat disengaged.  There's a difference.