St. Ailbe Catholic Church of Chicago

Rooted in Faith. Strengthened by Love.

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The Greatest Must Be Your Servant!

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 5, 2017

Celebrating 125 Years of Service!

The Greatest Must Be Your Servant!

Who is the Greatest? Who is the most Important? Who is the most… The questions go on and on. We often find ourselves jockeying for position, either wittingly or unwittingly. We don’t want to lose out, to go unrecognized, to be left out in the cold!In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of the importance of practicing what you preach, unlike the scribes and Pharisees, who had much to say about what should be done but did little about it. Yes, appearances are deceiving. Yes, actions speak louder than words.So how do you achieve greatness? By looking not in your direction, but in the direction of those in need, and responding in any way you can to meet the need. “The greatest among you must be your servant.” In the end, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted!” 

As we celebrate this Weekend our 125th Anniversary as a Parish Family, we are challenged to continue our amazing legacy of service to our Church and Community!

What Belongs To God?

29th Sunday In Ordinary Time

What Belongs To God?

Church and State, Sacred and Secular, Religious and Profane, Divine Right of Kings, Religious Freedom… human history is replete with the ongoing discussions and battles, and very much so in our own day, in politics and social discourse!
The question is brought to Jesus in today’s Gospel by the Pharisees and the Herodians, not to gain wisdom but disingenuously to trap him and discredit him. Jesus answers the question simply, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s!”
As you look out over the landscape of our city pictured on the cover of the Bulletin, what would you say belongs to God? Just the lake and sky, or churches marked by the towers protruding the skyline? Or is it everything you see? What are the implications of your answer?
We see our faith as wholistic. Everything ultimately comes from God. How does this call us to live? What does it mean to be a faithful steward of God’s Creation? We pray, reflect and share with one another the challenge: to enhance human life with the divine life we have been given, building up God’s Kingdom!

How Do You Love?

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How Do You Love?

What’s Love got to do with it? These words call to mind a popular song, and also point to the question posed to Jesus about what’s most important. The response of Jesus: LOVE’S GOT EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT!
In today’s readings we have a treasure trove of wisdom and a challenge to conventional thinking and acting. The reading from Exodus reminds us of how quickly we forget who we are and where we came from.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is confronted by a lawyer from the Pharisees, a prominent group of lay leaders. He thinks he will trap Jesus with the question: “Which of the commandments is the greatest in the law?” At that time, the Mosaic Law included 613 commandments, 365 prohibitions (one for each day of the year), and 268 prescriptions (one for each bone in the body). The answer Jesus gives is simple and succinct: “You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Enough said!

Many Are Called Few Are Chosen

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 15, 2017

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen!

Doesn’t this sound like some kind of trap, or trick? If you are called, are you not also chosen?

Today’s parable, like others we have been hearing from week to week, are about God’s Kingdom. Yes, we believe that all receive the invitation to be a part of God’s Kingdom and join in the heavenly banquet.

The parable describes the choices we make. Some were busy about other things. Others did not think the invitation was all that important. They discover ultimately the consequences of their choices. Others will receive the invitation they refused, and they will be locked out.

Then there is the matter of the “newly invited guest” from off the street who is found to not be properly dressed. What does this mean? Precisely that it is not enough to just accept the invitation. You have to do something to prepare yourself to join the heavenly banquet!

We join today in the heavenly banquet as we are invited to the altar. Are we prepared?

The Kingdom Will Be Given To Those Who Produce It’s Fruit!

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Kingdom Of Heaven Will Be Given To Those Who Will Produce Its Fruit!

Who can you count on to get the job done? Who do you trust with your investments, your livelihood, your inheritance?These days, these are rather crucial questions! Many of the things we relied on as our corner-stone, our “solid rock” on which we could stand firm, have become shaky or ever disappeared. The people, the structures, the institutions we thought to be reliable were not!Today’s Gospel is yet another “Parable of the Kingdom” which Jesus tells. Workers are entrusted to work in a The vineyard the owner carefully built and developed to be productive is leased to tenant workers. In the end, the tenants attempted to take it all for their own, even-ing killing the owner’s son.This is about STEWARDSHIP  the use of the time, talents and treasures we have been given to work with to build God’s Kingdom. Are we reliable? Are we producing Good Fruit?

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!

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