01 Jul 2017

This Week Letter – July 2, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends.

Why does Jesus cause feelings of  anxiety in us? In today’s Gospel, we hear: “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). St. Matthew is saying: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. “But this is not a matter of feeling, rather a voluntary and final choice. Jesus is saying: “Give me priority over all”.
It is therefore not a question of choosing between two loves: “Jesus or wife, Jesus or husband.” There is only one love, only one true way of loving. When we enter into the dimension of true love, we encounter Jesus, even if we do not know Him, for He says: “Loving as you love, you love me” (Mt 25:40). Here is the only problem. We must achieve the highest quality of love so that we can love our loved ones as we should love them: without selfishness, without jealousy, without bullying, without weariness, without refusing forgiveness. Even the least love for Jesus, is free from those vices. Whoever puts on Jesus completely, gains love with all possibilities of loving. Only in Jesus, in our love for Jesus, can we truly say to someone, “I love you.” The highest bid is to enter into that first, most important union. Love Jesus with all your heart and He will teach you to truly love everyone.
Here are three tough sentences without which you cannot follow Jesus: “He who loves father or mother more than Me … He who does not take his cross … He who wants to find his life …”. A Christian is one who loves only Jesus completely with unconditional love, and this makes him so rich! “If you want to love Me”, Jesus says, “I will demand from you everything and I will give you everything.”
This radical choice of Jesus may require me to make very difficult decisions, sometimes even dramatic, painful for me and for my loved ones. Perpetua, the martyr of the second century, who wrote notes until the last minute of her life, confessed what was her greatest test before her death: “My father came with my son (baby), drew me to him and said: ‘Do offering! Deny Jesus, have mercy on your child.’ Then the prosecutor Hilarion said: ‘Save your father, spare your child, sacrifice the emperor!’. But I said to him: no”.
I wish Father Pawel Barwikowski a happy return from vacation in Poland. For Sister Zofia Turczyn, Deacon Jim Schiltz, Mr. Roman Harmata and Sister Kinga Hoffmann, a happy vacation as well. I also wish a wonderful time in Chicago to my niece Joanna Hościło, who comes from Poland for the first time to visit her uncle. I wish our teachers, educators, children and young people and everyone, a joyful and pleasant vacation with God, so that all of you may rest well.
God bless!