26 Aug

Don't Go, Come Back!

Dear Parishioners,

"As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him" (Jn 6:66).

We have finally finished the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John.  On July 29th we began this Johannine excursus.  Up until that point we were reading from the Gospel of Mark.  For four weeks we reflected on John's pivotal chapter on the Eucharist (the multiplication of the loaves and fish, followed by the Bread of Life discourse).  Next week we will return to Mark's Gospel.

Kind of a depressing end, eh? Jesus performs this incredible miracle, gives this incredible teaching, and we're left with the fact that people have left him.

19 Aug

What's Your Favorite Food?

Dear Parishioners,

"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.

12 Aug

The Fragrant Aroma of Baking Bread

Letters from a Pastor to His People- August 12, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Something about the smell of baked bread captures my attention more than other smells.  Maybe you as well.  I don't know what it is.  My hunger for food is aroused, and my desire to fulfill that arousal is increased, when I walk into a Subway or pass a bakery.

Two things have me musing on this reality.  First is the line from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, our second reading this weekend:  "So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma" (Eph 2:1-2).

05 Aug

Fireworks From Heaven

Dear Parishioners,

A miracle from the sky.  That is what the crowd wants when they ask Jesus, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?" (John 6:30). The people need a display of fireworks from heaven to confirm their faith.

The crowd is not way out of line in asking this.  When God made the covenant with Noah, massive rains for forty days came from the sky.  When God made another covenant with Moses, thunder, lightning, and a smoke-show appeared as well.  When the prophet Elijah's mission was confirmed, he was taken up into the sky in a fiery chariot.  It was not uncommon for God to provide aerial signs in the Old Testament.