13 Aug 2016

This Week Letter – August 14, 2016

0 Comment

Dear parishioners and friends,


Welcome, and I greet all toward the end of summer vacation.  On Wednesday, August 17, classes 1-8 will start the new school year. The 3-year, 4-year-olds and kindergarten will begin school on Friday, August 19. I wish all children and parents a beautiful, happy and successful school year. Those who are not yet registered are cordially invited to the School Office. We look forward to seeing you all!

Today, Saint Paul, in the second reading,  directs our gaze to Jesus, Who is the role model for us. The Lord Jesus to do the will of the Father “faithfully endured the cross, despising its shame”. His life on Earth sets the  goal of our lives and actions: to serve God and oppose everything, which can take from us total fidelity to God.

The words of today’s Gospel shock us at the beginning. Jesus explains that he came to throw fire on Earth; He also says that He did not come to give peace on Earth, but discord.  The element of fire creates in us fear and horror. We know its destructive power: ruins and ashes. The division raises also negative associations. We know, however, that it is not a natural fire.

The teaching of the Church explains that the “fire” is the announcement of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is a “fire” of love, which will ignite and cleanse our hearts.  It is a gift from the Lord Jesus for His disciples, which brings inner peace as a sign of consent between man and God. This gift to us was not revoked. It is a sign of our adherence to the will of God; however, it does not release us from fighting, from inner opposition to sin, temptation, passion, and everything in our environment that is against the will of God, or threatens our faith and the fulfilment of God’s commandments.

The task of anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus is to build a “House” – a community founded on mutual love. However, you should reckon with the fact that if in such a House  jealousy settles, it will painfully split a household.  Christ’s followers will often face derisions, smiles, name-calling and slander. But it is nothing, because we have higher, noble goals. When we are with Christ, we are not afraid, and Christ will strengthen us.

Today, my mother Maria celebrates her 80th birthday.  I had the opportunity in Poland to celebrate with family, her early birthday party. Today, though very far from her, but with you here at St. Constance parish, I give her a gift of heartfelt prayer to the Lord who can reward her faith, hardships and sacrifice. May He give her love, good health, peace, joy and prolong her life. Using this opportunity, I would like to thank all those who showed her a lot of warmth and kindness during her stay in the United States. God bless you!

You are cordially invited to our parish picnic on Sunday, August 28, at Bunker Hill in Niles. We will begin with Holy Mass at 11:00am. Invite your friends as well.  God Bless You!