St. Ailbe Catholic Church of Chicago

Rooted in Faith. Strengthened by Love.

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Celebrating Grandparents Day

 

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Responsible for what? Death? The message from the prophet Ezekiel in today’s first reading is certainly startling. In an age when it is seen as fashionable and safe by some to not get involved in the lives of others, the message we hear from the Scriptures is certainly the opposite.Our theme today challenges us to get involved, be involved, take responsibility for the wellbeing of one another. In today’s Gospel message from Matthew Jesus instructs his disciples, and us, to step forward responsibly as reconcilers, not quickly giving up on each other.The message is timely as we end the Summer Season and move into a new year of activities and challenges at work, at school, at Church and in our Communities, and begin the Renew My Church Planning Process. What we are able to accomplish with our hands, our minds and spirits is more than physical things. It is about bringing together a new world order, God’s Kingdom, through the responsible use of our time, talent and treasure. In this effort we are not alone. Jesus in in our midst!

Think As God Thinks!

Think How? How am I to think as God thinks? I am not God! Our theme statement today is a call that comes from Jesus in today’s Gospel, addressed to Peter, who is told: “Get behind me, Satan!” This is Peter who received high praise last week from Jesus… “Blessed are you, Simon!” Jesus today is explaining what the Messiah of God” must experience and endure,  “suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Peter’s reaction is natural, and that is the problem “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do!”

How else is Peter supposed to think? He is human, after all. But that is the point: He is more than Human, He has been given God’s Grace, God’s Life! Peter is being called to learn to think and see as God thinks and sees, and he is given the power of grace to do so. It is about not steering from the path God gives us to travel, even if it demands struggle, rejection or suffering for the sake of justice, peace and love.

We, like Peter, have begun with our Baptism, to live not just humanly, but with God’ own Life! And so we are called to learn to think as God thinks!

 

This Is My Beloved Son! Listen To Him!

This Is My Beloved Son! Listen To Him!

The Transfiguration of Jesus! What was it like? What did Peter, James and John see? Many artists in Christian History have attempted to capture a “glimpse of the glory of Jesus” in paintings and drawings, some with the exuberance of Fr. James Hasse’s painting on the front cover, others in more subdued tones.What is this amazing event all about? Yes, it is a “snapshot” of the Glory of God manifested in His Son Jesus. Yes, he is connected with the great ones of the past, Moses and Elijah. Some would say it is a glimpse of the glory of Jesus to be experienced in the future.Most of all, what Peter, James and John saw was the Jesus of the present moment, a new in-sight into his identity during his public life. The transformation was a change that took place when Jesus’ inner reality shone forth and transfigured his outer appearance. More revelation would come with the Passion, Death and Resurrection!How are we called to respond? The voice from the cloud tells us: “…Listen to Him!”

Do You Understand All These Things?

July 30th, 2017 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do You Understand All These Things? A treasure buried in a field. A pearl of great price. A big catch from the sea.Once again we hear today three more Parables of the Kingdom. The first two speak to value and importance. What is the Kingdom of God worth to us? What are we willing to invest in it? To what lengths will we go to obtain it? The third parable is similar to last week’s parable of the wheat and the weeds. Right now we live with the good and the bad, saints and sinners. The time of judgment will come, though, when goodness will be uplifted and glorified, and evil destroyed. These stories speak to our lived experience. Being an active part of the kingdom demands investing our time, our talent and treasure. What we do makes a difference. We are called to responsibility for building up the Kingdom of God here and now. Jesus asks the question: “Do you understand all these things?”

See, Fear, Listen, Understand!

See, Hear, Listen, Understand!

Can’t you see? Don’t you hear me? You’re not listening! Why don’t you understand?

We have all had these statements hurdled at us from time to time. And we don’t like it! And yes, we have thrown them out to other people at times! And others don’t appreciate these statements either!

Truth be told, seeing and hearing that moves us to really listening and understanding is as much an exercise of the heart and spirit as it is of the senses. All this is about the parable of the sower and the seed that Jesus tells us today. Even more, it is about the ground upon which the seed falls. You know the story  some of the seed falls on rocky ground, some on the beaten down path, some in the weeds and then finally the seed which falls on “good ground.” To get the message of the parable, you have to first start with FAITH. To cultivate the message you need HOPE. To put it into practice, you need PERSISTENCE and LOVE! Then you get it!

Come To Me! Take My Yoke! Learn From Me!

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 9th, 2017

Come To Me, Take My Yoke, Learn From Me!As we move into the Liturgical Season called “Ordinary Time,” we focus on the teachings of Jesus, especially his instructions on discipleship which we find in the Gospel of Matthew.He points out that “wisdom” does not always come from the smartest or most educated. He lifts up the simple clarity of the young and innocent, to whom the wisdom of God is often revealed.Who are we to follow and what are we to do? He calls us to follow Him, who has been hand-ed over all things from the Father. He has a task, a mission for us, and expects us to take it up. He will not leave us alone, however. He is there to help carry the burden. With this message he assures us: “Come to me, all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy,

Jesus The Bread of Life – Celebrating Father’s Day

JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE, JESUS, THE CUP OF SALVATION!

The Body and Blood of Christ! The expression is all too familiar to us Catholic Christians. When Jesus first spoke of himself as re-al food, real drink, though, it was shocking and startling. Some took it as strange, unsettling, intolerable language and turned away from him.Today for many the Body and Blood of Christ is still unknown or misunderstood. For some Christians “Communion” is not a regular part of their experience and tradition. For others, the ritual surrounding the Body and Blood of Christ is merely “symbolic.”What about us Catholic Christians? We say that THIS IS FOR REAL! We say we believe in the real presence of Christ. We believe it is Real Food and Real Drink for Body and Spirit. We believe in the transformative power of the Eucharist in our lives. Are we attune to the Real Presence of Christ Jesus? 

Feast of the Holy Trinity: Holy Trinity – One God!

HOLY TRINITY – ONE GOD!

The Blessed Three In One! How is this possible? What does it mean? What does it tell us?We celebrate today the mystery of Three persons in One God. While we claim this to by a mystery, its reality does not totally escape our experience, but rather calls us into a new and different experience, a new and different way of living!The Trinity is about the power of life and love that is beyond all imagining. The Father is so full of dynamic life and love that His very Word is a Person  the Son! The love and communication between the Father and the Son is so intense that it is a Person  the Spirit!The Holy Trinity becomes for a the model and ideal of the perfect community we strive for: three persons so united in love and purpose that in fact they are ONE!As we celebrate Father’s Day this Weekend, we appropriately look to the Holy Trinity not only for Divine Strength, but as a model to reach for: To live and love so closely together that we achieve the Unity we long for!

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!

Good Shepherd Sunday – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Do You Recognize His Voice?

 

Do You Recognize His Voice? Whose voice do you recognize? Probably the voices of count-less people! But do you recognize HIS voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd?The fourth Sunday of Easter is traditionally known as “Good Shepherd” Sunday, and each year the Gospel presents Jesus as “shepherd.” What do you know about shepherds and sheep? Probably not much. We are told sheep can be less than highly intelligent, and at times so are we. We are told they can easily get themselves into trouble, and so can we. They can also learn to recognize and follow a shepherd, and so can we!Jesus tells us he is the “gate” for the sheep. The gate is the place where the shepherds calls the flock that is his own. Upon hearing his voice, they recognize it and they follow him, and he leads them to safe pasture.The question for us: Whose voice do we recognize, respond to and follow as we search for safe pasture? Do we recognize His voice?

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