15 Apr

Keep it Short

There are multiple reasons I give brief homilies. It is not for lack of preparation. In fact, it takes me more time and effort to compose a five minute homily than it would a 15 minute homily. I am reminded of what Blase Pascal once wrote, “I am sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I did not have time to write a short one.”

But there is also an implicit message I am seeking to convey by means of a short homily: the homily is not the most important part of the Mass. The Eucharist is. I want you to be filled and satisfied not by my words, but by Jesus himself.

15 Apr

Ghostbusters

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus is no ghost! “But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost” (Lk 24:37).

Our Lord on this third Sunday of Easter is conscientious of proving to the disciples that he is real; that he is not a phantom or some vague spirit conjured from the dead. In the Old Testament the ghost of the prophet Samuel was summoned by the witch of Endor at the request of Saul (cf. 1 Sam 28). Ghosts were not unheard of.

Nor was a resuscitated person. Jesus had raised Lazarus (cf. Jn 11:38-44), the daughter of Jairus (cf. Matt 9:18), and the son of the widow of Nain (cf. Lk 7:11-17) back to life The prophet Elijah in the Old Testament had also brought a person back from the realm of the dead (cf. 1 Kgs 17:17-24). Jesus was not a resuscitated human being. His resurrected body is different than it was before. He has a glorified body. He can pass through walls and appear in two places at once and vanish in an instant (see the Road to Emmaus).

13 Apr

School Mass Homily

From a homily at a school Mass on Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter, 4/13/2018

Boys and girls, do we remember who Jesus appeared to after he rose from the dead? Mary Magdalen, another Mary, Peter and John, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the disciples in the upper room. Very good. Someone guessed Mary, Jesus' mother. Is this true? Well, we do not hear about in the Gospels, but I find it hard to believe that Jesus would not have visited his mother after this great news. Aren't our mothers some of the first people to whom we tell good news? I don't think I'm speculating too much by guessing Jesus would have appeared to Mary. Remember John at the end of his Gospel writes, "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written" (Jn 21:25).

08 Apr

Baseball Season

Baseball season is underway and the Cubs' home opener is tomorrow, so allow me to reflect on the spirituality of baseball. Francis T. Vincent, Jr., the former Commissioner of Major League Baseball, once said this:

Baseball teaches us, or has taught most of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and, precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often--those who hit safely in one out of three chances and become star players. I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of its rigorous truth.

08 Apr

Got faith? Have love.

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Thomas! Oh Thomas, how close you were to missing out on sainthood. How close you were to losing your identity and being consigned to an eternity of confusion and limitation, along with Judas, Pilate, and everyone else who could not step out into the beautiful dark and believe. Thanks be to God (and truly, to God, for he mercifully came to you), you were able to see the risen Christ and come to faith.

We know well the story from today's Gospel, the second Sunday of Easter. “Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came” (Jn 20:24). When Thomas, who has missed Christ's appearance that Easter Sunday evening, is told by the ten of the resurrection, Thomas doesn't believe. It is not until a week later, when Jesus appears and allows the doubter to put his hands into his wounds, that Thomas believes, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” This prompts Jesus' response: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29).

06 Apr

Eucharistic Adoration

Looking to get into a new habit of prayer?

Join us in church on the first Friday of every month for Adoration of the Eucharist from 9am to 6pm. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament flows from the sacrifice of the Mass and serves to deepen our hunger for Communion with Christ and the rest of the Church.

02 Apr

Bible Study

  • 21 August 2018 |
  • Published in Learning

As Father Tom Donaldson reverently and humorously stated during a parish mission, the BIBLE is Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. It's also the framework of our faith as Christians, as well as a singularly great collection of entertaining stories that rival anything you might find on the big or small screen.

Join us Monday September 10 at 6:30pm in the Parish Center for our informational session to decide on bible study topics and program. All are welcome for this informational session.

Cost: There is no cost, but a free-will donation toward the materials would not be refused.

If you've ever been interested in a more in-depth exploration of the Bible and its relevancy to us as faithful followers of Christ, please join us.

Contact Ed Dolan

 

01 Apr

Salvation History

The ancient Romans believed in many gods, and their chief god was Jupiter. The title they gave Jupiter was, in Latin, Conservator, or savior. Salvation, in the pagan mindset, consisted in the conservation of Rome: the preservation of the status quo of Roman society. For Christianity, our God, who is also a savior, is not a conservator—one who preserves the particular society—but a salvator—one who renews and transforms society. The Church, the Body of Christ the savior, is always moving forward, renewing and transforming herself. This is why we qualify our history as salvation history. The Church is not related solely to the past, but lives in the present, bearing within itself the character of hope and pointing to the future.

01 Apr

Ready, set, sprint!

Dear Parishioners,

I can't tell you how many sprints I've done in my lifetime: sprints throughout grade school and high school for football, basketball, and baseball; sprints in college and then in seminary to arrive at class on time, as well as for sports training; sprints as pastor to answer a ringing phone, to beat traffic across Touhy, to turn on lights in church, to tag a St. Juliana student during capture-the-flag in gym class. So many sprints.

There is a certain level of abandonment when you sprint. You're not contained as when you're jogging. Your leg muscles are fully extended and your arms are literally reaching out as far as they can go. Just one more ounce of abandonment and you'll fall over.

There is also a sense of commitment when you sprint. You're completely in the moment. You can't stop casually. The finish line alone is the object of your focus.