St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Faith in Him

Just keep an open heart to Jesus. He is the way, te tuth and the life. His very being is associated with the “way”, how we are to live our life. Sometimes we don’t like His way. Just be open to Him and trust in Him. 

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Divine Mercy Sunday – April 28, 2019

Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

What does Easter mean to you? For Christians, it means attending Mass and gathering with family for a special meal.
As we contemplate the Passion of Christ and all the pain and sufferings He experienced, He shows us His Resurrection, a New Life with the Father. His Resurrection was a witness to all who might not have believed He was the Son of God, as He proclaimed. Easter is a reminder, that through all of our pain and sufferings, there is new life in Christ. After every experience we encounter in life, there is always Resurrection.
And in Christ’s Resurrection, He showers us with His Love and Mercy. How loving is our Lord. He, who was abandoned by those closest to Him, humiliated, stripped down to nothing as He was beaten and bruised beyond our comprehension, and ultimately crucified. And yet, He returns to us in all His glory, offering mercy and forgiveness for the sins we have committed. That is Divine Mercy!
It is on this day, the Feast of Divine Mercy, that the Lord pours upon us His Unfathomable Mercy by washing away all of our sins completely, giving us a new beginning. Through this act of mercy, He also asks us to be merciful and forgiving to others, just as He has been to us. As He has loved us, we are to love our neighbors.
Divine Mercy Sunday is a continuation of Easter Sunday. It is putting those Baptismal vows into action by deepening our love for God and our neighbor through mercy and forgiveness.
The Heart of Jesus is always awaiting you with open arms. Join us on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 28, at the 3:00pm Mass, as we truly experience mercy and forgiveness in ways only possible through God.
The doors will open at 1:00 for Adoration and Reconciliation and the choir will sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 2:25pm.
Please be sure to go to Reconciliation before Divine Mercy Sunday.
Peace Be With You!

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Symbolism in the Church #8

On the far sides of the reredos of the high altar there are certain, what I will call, cut-outs of the wood. These “cut-outs” leave shadows on the wall behind the high altar. These shadows leave an image of three candles on the wall that increase in height as they go in. These are symbolic of the procession of the saints ascending into heaven as they sing their praises to God. They are going up to their heavenly place that has been prepared for them. They are entering the heavenly kingdom. These candles that are depicted on the wall have, above each one, something similar to sparkles. It is as if they are the halos of each person that gets such a high privilege of being with the company of the Holy. Continue reading

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More Biblical Support for Bodily Mortification

In Part One, I gave an overview of the penitential practices of bodily mortification (particularly, use of the hair shirt or biblical sackcloth). Here I provide the relevant Scriptures (RSV), so that Catholics may substantiate the biblical nature of their practices.

Use of Sackcloth as a Sign of Repentance or Penitence
Matthew 11:21 Woe to you, Chora’zin! woe to you, Beth-sa’ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (cf. Lk 10:13) …

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V domingo tiempo ordinario Ciclo C 2019

Dios nos da a todos y cada uno de nosotros una vocación común: la vocación a la santidad. Esta vocación común a todas las personas debe realizarla después cada uno mediante el cumplimiento concreto de las vocaciones temporales que también nos da el Señor. Nosotros podemos aceptar la vocación y las vocaciones que nos da el Señor, pero también podemos rechazarlas. Aceptar o no aceptar esta vocación a la santidad que Dios nos da, supone colaborar o no colaborar con Dios en la edificación de nuestro yo interior, para que se parezca lo más posible al Yo de Cristo. Colaborar con Dios supone siempre reconocer nuestra imperfección radical y aceptar que sea Dios mismo el verdadero autor de nuestra santidad. Colaborar con Dios en la construcción de nuestra propia santidad supone, pues, siempre un acto de humildad y un ejercicio de oración. La humildad es siempre el primer paso hacia la santidad; sin humildad no avanzaremos nunca hacia la santidad. Pero, a la humildad debe seguir siempre la oración transformadora para que sea Él el autor de una santidad que por nosotros mismos no podríamos conseguir nunca. En la vida interior hay que bregar y trabajar, hay que sembrar y regar, pero sabiendo siempre que es Dios el que da el verdadero incremento. En las lecturas de este domingo tenemos tres modelos de personas que aceptaron la vocación a la santidad que Dios les dio, reconociendo inicialmente su incapacidad para conseguirlo. Estas tres personas -Pedro, Isaías y san Pablo- fueron llamadas por Dios a conseguir la santidad mediante la predicación de la palabra de Dios. Las tres respondieron positivamente a la llamada de Dios, a la vocación; cada una desde sus concretas y particulares circunstancias personales. Continue reading