St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible: Romans #5

In verses 18 through 20, we see how God created everything to reveal who He is and reflect His ways. In the things He created, we can derive that God exists, and furthermore, what is good and what is evil. God created things with a purpose and an order according to that purpose. We can discover that the eye has the purpose to help us see and the stomach helps us digest food to stay alive. God even gave us taste buds so that we may have pleasure in eating to inspire us to stay alive. If anything comes along that prevents or hinders the eye from seeing or the stomach from digesting, then that would be ‘an evil’ and unhealthy. But if medicine or some sort of assistance were to come along to help the eye see or the stomach to digest, then that would be ‘a good’ and healthy. It is just as much true with our bodies as it is with our souls. God created our bodies and souls not in a general way, but with detail, reason and purpose. Continue reading


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Domingo XVII Tiempo Ordina ciclo B 2018

Todos sabemos que el problema del hambre en el mundo no es la falta de alimentos, sino el uso y reparto que se hace de los alimentos existentes. Si se repartieran bien los alimentos existentes, con justicia moral, es decir con una justicia que incluyera la misericordia y la generosidad, no habría en el mundo personas que tuvieran que morir de hambre. Sabemos que repartir bien es muy difícil y costoso, pero merecería la pena: que nadie se quedara con alimentos superfluos y que repartiera estos alimentos a las personas que los necesitan para vivir. No olvidemos nunca la famosa frase de san Agustín: los alimentos superfluos de los ricos son los alimentos necesarios de los pobres. ¿Qué podemos hacer cada uno de nosotros? Primero practicarlo y dar ejemplo; después predicarlo y actuar social y políticamente de acuerdo con esta idea. Jesús repartió alimento de pobres –unos panes de cebada y unos peces- y hubo para todos. El ejemplo de Jesús debería ser contagioso para todos los cristianos, para los pobres y para los ricos. Repartamos todos lo que tenemos, poco o mucho, y desaparecerá el hambre del mundo. ¡Claro que para eso hace falta mirar antes al cielo y obedecer a nuestro padre Dios! Como hizo Jesús. Continue reading


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Domingo XVI del Tiempo Ordinario ciclo B 2018

Tiene el relato de San Marcos un panorama íntimo, de comienzo de encuentros entre amigos. Jesús sabe que el periplo de los Apóstoles ha sido difícil y fatigoso y quieres proporcionarles un cierto descanso. Además es lógico que entre ellos cambiaran impresiones. Los discípulos deberían llegar fascinados por el poder que se les ha dado. Han podido someter a los espíritus inmundos y han conseguido sanar a la gente, contribuir a su felicidad. Han de tener esos enviados especiales que su Maestro es algo muy especial, “que no es de este mundo”. Pero la realidad se impone. No es posible el descanso. Hay muchos hermanos que los necesitan. El sentido entrañable que Jesús comienza a manifestar a sus amigos, a sus discípulos más cercanos, es superado por las necesidades reales de toda una multitud. Y así hemos de darnos cuenta que este fragmento de Marcos es uno de los más interesantes de todo el relato evangélico. Marca la verdadera dimensión del trabajo apostólico. Continue reading


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Vocation Corner

Every time I get in my car and travel to an unknown location, I do one simple thing to get there. I plug the address into my GPS. The GPS determines my location, my destination, the amount of time to get there, and the route. Once this is all calculated, I simply click ‘start’ and I am on my way. I put the GPS in the holder of my car and drive. Almost every time, I get to the exact location that I was desiring and the navigation system even got me there with the quickest path. Continue reading


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Bible: Romans #2

Paul is setting the context of this letter from the outset. Verse one states, “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.” Paul refers to himself as to be a slave. It is believed that he is in chains as one is bound as a slave. He is set to go to court in Rome while being accused of wrongdoing by the Jewish leaders of the time. It seems to be early in his bondage. Though human hands have bound him with the intent for death, Paul really does consider himself to be a slave to Christ Jesus. But this bondage is a path to freedom. He actually rejoices in this bondage. It is an opportunity to glorify God.

Verse two talks of how the Old Testament prophesied about the coming of Jesus. It states, “Which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures.” The Old Testament is considered to be the word of God known as Sacred Scripture. Paul is not referring to what he is writing is going to write. The New Testament has not yet been put together. In fact, it is still being written out, as is the case for the letter to the Romans. So the Old Testament is held very dear to the early Christians. Those Sacred Scriptures point to Jesus as the Messiah that is long waited for by the prophets.

Verse three continues to bring clarity that the gospel is about Jesus. Verse three states, “the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh” and verse four continues, “but established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” So Paul is establishing Jesus as a descendant of David in verse three as does the beginning of Matthew and Luke. It seems that Jesus has mere human origin, but in verse four, he states that there is more about this man Jesus than what appears to be. He is also a descendant of God. He comes to know this through the spirit of holiness and the fact that this Jesus rose from the dead.

Did you notice how it is worded about the Resurrection? Paul did not say “and about His resurrection from the dead.” No. It states, “through resurrection from the dead.” He does not limit the Resurrection to Jesus. Already, Paul is allowing for the reality of the promise that Jesus has made us of our resurrection. He is very aware of our eternal life, not just spiritually, but physically.

Verse 6, Paul recognizes that all the faithful are called to “belong to Jesus.” Paul realizes that the love of God is not his alone. He knows that it is for us too. In fact, he desires us to know of God’s love for us and really experience it in our lives. That is why he is writing this letter, so that others may know of the gospel message. The gospel message at this point in time is spoken. Some has been written, but not all of it as yet. So when Paul writes in the New Testament about the “gospel,” he is referring to the message of Jesus, His death and Resurrection, and His promise of Eternal Life.

The Romans by this time have already heard this message, but Paul wants to remind the people of this promise because it is the source of strength the Romans needed to persevere through all the hard times they had to endure. We need to hear this message too. That is why it is good to read the letter to the Romans. It can be an inspiration of faith and hope in the promise Jesus has given us. But do you understand what that promise is or even why it is so important? If we do not understand that, then the gospel message will mean nothing and we will remain in bondage and sin. Have you been freed from bondage and sin?


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XIII Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario ciclo B 2018

El libro de la Sabiduría se nos dice que la vida del hombre no acaba en esta tierra, porque Dios es un Dios de vida y no de muerte. Ahora, los hombres y mujeres de nuestro mundo, a lo largo y ancho de este planeta tierra, no tenemos una opinión común y uniforme sobre lo que pasará después de nuestra muerte. Todas las religiones afirman que nuestro destino es vivir, primero aquí en este mundo y después en el cielo, en el paraíso, o en cualquier otro lugar y una dimensión nueva y trascendente. Pero tenemos que reconocer que en el momento actual de nuestra historia existen muchas personas ateas, o agnósticas, que no creen en ninguna clase de inmortalidad. Los cristianos tenemos la obligación de convivir pacífica y amablemente, tanto con las personas que no creen en ninguna clase de inmortalidad, como con las personas que son de otras religiones. Los cristianos debemos afirmar nuestra fe en la inmortalidad con firmeza y tolerancia, afirmando, sin rodeos, que nosotros creemos que Cristo venció a la muerte y nos abrió a todos las puertas de la inmortalidad. No se puede ser cristiano y no creer en la resurrección de Cristo y en nuestra propia inmortalidad. Continue reading


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Bible: Romans #1

The letters of the New Testament are not put in chronological order. The Letter to the Romans was written by Paul much later in his life and ministries. It was one of the last letters he wrote. His teaching is much more developed than most of his writings. It is believed to have been written between the years 56 and 58. He was on his way to Rome as a prisoner. Reading up on Paul’s time coming to Rome and while he is in Rome, Paul seems to have plans to get out to Spain to evangelize there, though there is no evidence that he actually made it to Spain. Continue reading