From Our Pastor: 14th Sunday In Ordinary Time
Isaiah tells us of a loving God who feeds us and cares for us much like a loving and caring mother. In the Eucharist God does just this. He feeds us with His very own body and cares for us fully, providing us everything. He accomplishes this work of His greatest care for us on the cross of Jesus Christ, as St. Paul tells us today in his letter to the Galatians. This is what we boast in, the Lord and His cross. All we have comes from God and so we cannot boast in who we are but in who He has made us to be. This is basic human dignity that every person and all they are is a gift from the Lord. This gift of life we celebrate and show the world that each and every person, no matter their age, abilities, background, or even mistakes or directly chosen sins, effects the dignity of this person to be cared for and loved. We do not need to love the sin but love the sinner, and this is basic human dignity.
This last week we as Catholic MUST rejoice at the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We celebrate this victory that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which is inscribed in our country, is now celebrated once again in overturning this unjust and supposed “right to abortion” that never existed in the constitution. Life is sacred at all stages. We at St. Francis help to support our local crisis pregnancy center, we have our food pantry to feed those in need, we support the missions and needy in many aspects in our community and around the world, and so much more. We as Catholics care for more people in need throughout the world than any other organization or government. And I would argue more than most of them combined how we feed, house, educate, and love and care for people in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, orphanages, schools, universities, and so much more. We care for people in the worst conditions and in places no one would want to go.
In this dignity of the human person, we must continue to fight for life in our state. The state officials very sneakily, and in one of the craziest ways, passed a law that was amended quite secretly on Memorial Day weekend a few years ago, to include making Illinois one of the abortion capitals in America and to take away protections that have been on our books and in our laws for years. We need to fight for life again in our state. We need to stand for the dignity of every human person. We need to teach and witness to morality in our society to help change the culture of unfettered sex and unfettered death. We need to teach people the dignity of the human person once again and stand for life at all stages, walk with people hurting and in need, love those who have no one, and care for the forgotten and neglected. This is our call as disciples. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you,” says the Lord. He does this through His Church, and you are the Church whom He uses to reach out to do this for the whole world.
It is not just the priests and religious that are called to this, but every disciple. Every person in the Church should be living this out in their life and in our communities. Today we pray also for more priests and religious to do the work of laboring in the harvest. If we are sad at the departure of Fr. David Beagles, then we need to pray for more priests so that we do not need to make guys pastors so quickly. We need to encourage our children to answer the call to priesthood and religious life. We need to have families rooted in the faith, so we have young people wanting to follow the Lord radically as priests and religious. Pray for the priests we have to live lives of holiness. Pray for their health and care for them. Encourage the young people in our parish and community to follow the Lord, to get involved in the faith, and to consider the call to priesthood. It is tough, but it is a joyous and amazing life. Pray and ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest! And pray they have the courage to answer when He calls!
As we celebrate this great country this 4th of July, let us thank the Lord for the gift of living in a free country that keeps its focus on the God given rights He has given us, especially life. Continue to pray for our country and pray for the conversion of our elected officials. Lastly, we thank the picnic committee for the success that it was. What a fun time and great experience! Thank you to them again for all their hard work and congratulations on the more than $41,000 that was raised to support our school! May God continue to bless this parish and our school as we continue to form disciples for Christ.
-Rev. Steven Arisman