St. Ailbe Catholic Church of Chicago

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

-Mark 6:30 – 31

An Altar and A Plow

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

An Altar and A Plow

When we reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can understand the concerns of the disciples. They have just heard Jesus say, “The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh,” and “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”

When Jesus talks about the bread of life, he is speaking about more than sacrifice. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” Jesus wants to lead us into a life of love and generosity and service. This is the life that the apostle Paul describes when he challenges Christians “to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.” The life that really is life is not just sacrifice, but service.

An ancient Roman coin pictures an ox standing beneath an altar and a plow. The alter symbolizes a sacrificial death, while the plow stands for a life of service. Along with these images the caption “Ready for Either.” That makes you think, doesn’t it? Ready for either … what? Ready for either sacrifice or service behind a plow. Such a slogan is appropriate for any Christian who wants to follow the words of Jesus about spirit and life. Spirit speaking Christians should always be prepared for either sacrifice or service.

Family Togetherness

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Family Togetherness

Families teach a sense of togetherness and community. It is in the family that we learn that we are dependent on one another and where we learn to work together and live together. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus sends out the 72 disciples in pairs, a sign that we are to work together to serve the mission of the Kingdom of God. Talk about all the ways that your family works together. Talk about the various chores and tasks that family members work on together to accomplish in order to keep the household running smoothly. Discuss ways that your family can work more closely together to support one another and to make the household run more smoothly. Pray for the strength to overcome the temptation to be too individualistic and to recognize the need for working together as a family.

God Bless America

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence. While the signing of the Declaration itself was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday is seen as the official anniversary of U.S. independence. Although Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of independence in 1777 with spontaneous celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia, the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” wasn’t until 1791 and “Independence Day” celebrations only be- came common after the War of 1812. By the 1870’s Independence Day had become the most important secular holiday on the American calendar and has transformed into what is known as the 4th of July.

The Nativity of St. John The Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Graduation Recognition Sunday

I Will Make You A Light To The Nations

The light unto nations is the Jews or the prophet Isaiah, both because of the divine message they give to humanity, not because of their human social efforts. The Jews are the light unto nations in that, by observing the events concerning them, one cannot avoid the conclusion that HaShem is true. Prophet Isaiah, in contrast to the false prophets of peace, the Neville Chamberlains of our day, is the light unto the nations in that, by believing in his message and following his exhortations, one knows what the way to peace is and what only pretends to be such.

It is the End of Satan!

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It Is The End Of Satan Satan is often comically portrayed as a guy in a red devil suit. As a “nonexistent” force in people’s lives, Satan is free to influence them with being discovered as the cause of many of our problems. However, the Bible says that Satan is a beautiful and powerful fallen angel, who would like to do nothing more than take away the joy of Christians through deception and lead people into rebellion against God. Although Satan is destined for the Lake of Fire, biblical prophecy indicates that he will deceive entire nations and kingdoms before he is relegated to eternal damnation, along with the other fallen angels he led into rebellion against God.

Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

My Body and My Blood – Given for You and For Many!

Feast of Corpus Christi

Eat My Body —Given For You; Drink My Blood — Shed For You!

What most distinguishes us as Catholic Chris-tians? It is when we gather, week by week, around the Table of the Lord to celebrate the timeless Last Supper Meal! It is not just what we do here in the house of the Lord, but what this meal calls us to do and be all week long.

Having been invited to this feast, we celebrate God’s gracious love. We present to the Father the most perfect gift – the Body and Blood of His Son. God graciously shares the gift with us in Communion. We approach the table with profound reverence, awed that despite our unworthiness we are still invited to the feast. We come away with new strength, which gives us hope to face the challenges of life. We leave with inexpressible joy, a joy we are called to carry to our homes, our workplace, our work-place, our world!

The Blessed Three In One!

Most Holy Trinity

The Blessed Three In One!

God the Father. God the Son. God the Holy Spirit. Who do you pray to? All Three?

No, this is not about some religious “multiple choice!” At the core of our Catholic Faith is a mystery: The mystery of Three Persons in One God The Holy Trinity!

While we can never totally grasp or experience the reality of God in this life, divine revelation opens doors to us to more fully appreciate what at the deepest level we long for. . . the Divine!

The Trinity is for us the model of perfect Community. . . Three persons so much in love with one another that they are in fact one! It is about being focused on the other, living for others. In this framework of reality, we were born again in Baptism…In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We are called to model The Blessed Three In One!

Empowered by the Holy Spirit!

Pentecost Sunday!

Empowered By The Holy Spirit!

The promise of Jesus, to send the Holy Spirit, is fulfilled today, on this day we call Pentecost.

The sending of the Spirit upon the followers of Jesus so changed them and their focus that we now call this day the Birthday of the Church!

They were empowered with the gifts of the Spirit and began to spread the Good News, a Good News that broke through language and culture. The mission is now ours — with the Holy Spirit, to renew the face of the earth!

I Am With You Always

Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

I Am With You Always!

Transformation! What “transformative” moments do you remember in your life? The first day of School? First Communion or Confirmation? Graduation? Your first job? Moving out on your own? Wedding Day? Your first child? The death of a parent or sibling? The list is long for most of us!

This Ascension Day is a transformative moment for the disciples of Jesus, and for all of us who aspire to follow in their footsteps! They had already experienced the “whirlwind” of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. When they meet Him on the mountain, they worship him, but still have lingering doubts.

Now, just as the reality of his resurrected presence has begun to sink in, he is lifted up before their eyes. He charges them to go out and make disciples of all nations. His assurance to them: I am with you always, until the end of the age. He is still with us in this age!

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