Here I am, Lord

Dear Parishioners,

“Here am I Lord; I come to do your will (Ps 40:8-9).” The responsorial psalm for this Sunday provides both a perfect prayer and a good model for discipleship. What do we "need" to do to be good Catholics, good disciples of Jesus Christ? Simply present ourselves before God and do his will. Check out each of these verses from the psalm.

I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.

The ball is in God's court. Simply wait for him (“I have waited, waited for the Lord”) and he will give you what you are to do to follow his will (“and he put a new song into my mouth”).

Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”

Our Lord does not demand much (“sacrifice or offering you wished not”), but simply that we come and listen (“ears open to obedience”).

In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!

When we do God's will, we are fulfilled and given happiness (“your will, O my God, is my delight”). And we will be able to do amazing things, like live well and testify before others (“I announced your justice in the vast assembly”).

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.

Perhaps you can pray the psalm later this week.

I would like to thank everyone who helped with Fr. Ahearn's funeral last Saturday. So many of you rose to the occasion to send our pastor emeritus off well. Thank you to Margie Shiel and all those who sang or played, both during the wake service and the funeral itself. Thank you to the rest of my staff who helped organize the reception during the wake, put together the funeral Mass program, plan the liturgy, and perform so many other tasks. It was a beautiful celebration and we were particularly blessed to have Fr. Scott Donahue preach the homily and Cardinal Cupich act as the main celebrant. We will miss Fr. Ahearn but I think can add this past weekend to our bank of fond Fr. Ahearn memories.

Many of you have heard of the death of the brother of Fr. Roger Caplis, Ray Caplis. We're sorry for your loss, Fr. Roger, and will be praying for both Ray and your entire family. Fr. Roger is down in Florida until the end of February—he actually celebrated his brother's funeral on the same day as Fr. Ahearn's funeral. If you would like to send Fr. Roger a note of condolence, please go ahead and send it here to the parish and we will be sure he receives it.

Thank you as well once again to our Liturgy Team and company for decorating the Church for Christmas and then "undecorating" last Sunday. Our church's beauty is owed to you!

This past Tuesday was a First Reconciliation and Communion information meeting. I spoke to both school and RE parents about the importance of the sacraments and provided some theological background. If you missed the meeting, please contact Pam Francisco, or if there is anything more you would like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to me. First Reconciliation for second graders will be Tuesday, February 7th; First Communion is Saturday, April 29th.

This Sunday, January 15th is a big day for our Scout program. The Cub Scout Pinewood Derby will be over in the school hall at 11:30am and the Eagle Scout Award Ceremony at 3pm in the gym. Congratulations to all of our scouts who have earned the Eagle Scout Honor and thank you to our scout masters, particular John Pelrine, for helping them achieve this prestigious award.

I enjoyed watching the Notre Dame College Prep boys basketball game this past Thursday night against Joliet Catholic. Best to all of our alumni and go Dons! And, of course, it's been fun to watch our own boys’ basketball games. Hopefully I don't yell too loudly from the stands.

God bless you and have a restful Martin Luther King holiday.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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