St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Symbolism in the Church #39

s1290035.jpgOn the left side, as you are looking at the altar there is one of the round windows closer to the choir loft that has a heart with the anchor on one side and a cross on the other side of the heart. The heart is depicted as having a fire coming from the top of it, but it is not the full image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The fire depicts God’s love for us in the heart. The anchor on the left side of the heart reminds us of Peter, our first pope, but also the anchor of God’s love for us. It brings peace, comfort and strength in faith when we know how much God was willing to do for us. His love for us is not here today and gone tomorrow. His love is steadfast. It does not depend on how He feels for the day, nor does it go away if we do the wrong thing. His love is an anchor we can depend on in holding us fast so we do not get taken away by the storms of life. Even when we do the wrong thing, He still calls us back and extends His mercy. The anchor wraps its hook around the cross on the right side of the heart. It embraces that cross of mercy for us. The heart, the anchor and the cross are one in Jesus Christ. We really can trust in Him, His mercy and His love. We just might have hope yet. Continue reading


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Symbolism in the Church #38

s1290029.jpgThe next round window is an image of a mother pelican feeding the baby pelicans. This image actually pre-dates Christianity. Legend has it that when there was a great famine, the mother pecked a wound on herself so that she could feed her babies. Thus, she risked her own life for that of her children. It is an image of a mother’s love, but a mother’s love comes from the God, who made all mothers. Jesus came and risked His life to save us. This risk is not in word only. Jesus joyfully was willing to do what He could to save us from peril, even if that meant He would die. Continue reading


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Symbolism in the Church #32

The round windows up high in the sanctuary are from left to right: a Chalice and the cross, a skull, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a scale in the center, a harp, a dove with the olive branch and an ominous eye.   Continue reading


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“APERUIT ILLIS”

APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED “MOTU PROPRIO”
BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
“APERUIT ILLIS”
INSTITUTING THE
SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

1. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45). This was one of the final acts of the risen Lord before his Ascension. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, broke bread with them and opened their minds to the understanding of the sacred Scriptures. To them, amid their fear and bewilderment, he unveiled the meaning of the paschal mystery: that in accordance with the Father’s eternal plan he had to suffer and rise from the dead, in order to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Lk 24:26.46-47). He then promised to send the Holy Spirit, who would give them strength to be witnesses of this saving mystery (cf. Lk 24:49).
The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B). Continue reading