St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Domingo XXIII tiempo ordinario ciclo C 2019

Todos los cristianos sabemos que el mismo Jesucristo sufrió muchísimo en su vida, pasión y muerte, antes de resucitar glorioso a los cielos. Por tanto, cuando ahora Jesús dice a sus discípulos que tienen que renunciar a todos sus bienes para poder ser discípulos suyos, debemos entender que sabe lo que dice. Por supuesto, se refiere a todos los bienes que se oponen a la predicación y consecución del reino de Dios, tal como él lo había hecho y predicado. Cada uno de nosotros, los cristianos, debemos preguntarnos a nosotros mismos: ¿Qué bienes tengo yo que me impidan, o me hagan muy difícil ser verdadero discípulo de Jesús? No sólo bienes materiales, sino aptitudes, deseos y tendencias que vayan en contra de los valores que predicó y practicó en su vida Jesús de Nazaret, antes de resucitar glorioso a los cielos. Si no renunciamos a todos los bienes que nos impidan ser verdaderos discípulos de Jesús, no podremos ser sus discípulos. Esto, teóricamente es muy claro, pero, ¡qué difícil es practicarlo!

Solo así fueron rectos los caminos de los terrestres, los hombres aprendieron lo que te agrada, y la sabiduría los salvó. En este libro de la Sabiduría, la Sabiduría auténtica es el mismo Espíritu de Dios, es Dios mismo. Para nosotros, los cristianos, la Sabiduría es Jesucristo. La razón es de los hombres, la sabiduría es de Dios y ¡qué difícil es para nuestra pobre razón conocer los designios de Dios, si Dios no nos da su santo Espíritu! Ante el misterio de Dios, el hombre debe proceder siempre con humildad y reconocimiento de nuestros límites. Si no hemos sido capaces de predecir un terremoto que obedece a leyes físicas que están operando debajo de nuestros propios pies, ¡cuánto menos vamos a conocer los designios de un Dios inmenso y eterno! “Apenas –se nos dice- conocemos las cosas terrenas y con trabajo encontramos lo que está a mano; pues, ¡quién rastreará las cosas del cielo! Sí, seamos humildes y aceptemos los designios insondables de Dios, trabajando cada día con todas nuestras fuerzas humanas para que nuestra pobre razón se vaya acercando un poco más a la verdadera sabiduría que solo Dios puede darnos. ¡Que la Sabiduría nos salve!

La ley que permitía la esclavitud no se ha abolido hasta hace muy poco tiempo, pero la práctica cristiana siempre nos recomendó tratar al prójimo como a un hermano, no como a un esclavo. San Pablo nos dijo que para los que creemos en Cristo no deben existir diferencias entre esclavos y libres; todos somos hijos de un mismo Dios, salvados por nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Apliquemos estos consejos de san Pablo en nuestras relaciones con todas las personas, especialmente con las que no son de nuestra propia nación, lengua, cultura, o religión. Ver en el otro a un hermano nos obliga a comportarnos con él con amor y misericordia, sobre todo cuando este hermano vive una situación difícil y complicada. ¡Que entre nosotros no sólo no haya esclavos legales, sino que veamos a todos como hermanos espirituales! Si alguno no quiere considerarse hermano nuestro y prefiere ser nuestro enemigo, tanto peor para él, pero que su actitud no cambie nuestro firme propósito de ver siempre a los demás como verdaderos hermanos, en Cristo Jesús. Por Gabriel González del Estal. Betania. Es.

P. Diego Ospina


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Symbolism in the Church #26

This baptismal font is more recently made by a parishioner. This one is simpler in design. It is octagonal in shape with a stainless-steel bowl inserted in it. It has four small wheels on the bottom that makes it more mobile. We pull it forward for baptisms and bring it down the steps from the sanctuary for the Easter Vigil Mass on the Saturday of Easter. The insert allows us to offer the holy water that was used for the baptism for the parents or person to take home with them.

Baptism is a very special sacrament that we receive to invite Jesus into our lives for the very first time. For most cradle Catholics, our parents did this for us when we were infants yet. Later, we would make a willed decision ourselves. Baptism is the Sacrament that initiates us with a relationship with Jesus. Jesus now enters into our lives and offers us all the graces we need for salvation. The Heavenly Father becomes our true Father in heaven and is there for us for the rest of our lives when we need His help. We become God’s children at Baptism. It makes us able to receive His graces. We are also forgiven of all our sins; original and actual, when we get baptized. Our relationship with God, others and ourselves is made whole again.

Baptism is the normal means by which we are saved. Jesus Himself said, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (John 3:5). It was so important to Jesus that He himself allowed Himself to be baptized in the Jordan as an example for us (Mt 3:13-17). So Jesus is offering us Baptism for salvation as a way to accepting Him. But what happens to those who do not know about this offering? Though as humans, we are required to accept this grace through Baptism, God is not limited to that rule. Jesus is the one in total authority, so it is up to Him in those cases. Yet that is not a good reason to reject Baptism, for anybody who does know of this great offering should take it.

The right side has a smaller black marble side altar. Today, we use modern side altars for decorations or putting statues on or paintings above for veneration. Before the second Vatican Council, they were used to celebrate Mass on. It would be common in any given church that there may be two priests celebrating Mass at the same time; one on the main altar and another on the side altar. Today, multiple priests can con-celebrate one Mass celebration at a time. Each priest in the liturgy is still considered to be celebrating their own Mass with their own intentions. Before the Second Vatican Council that was not the case. Each priest used to have to celebrate his own Mass with his own server if he had one with his own altar available.

This still could be done I suppose, but not usually. This side altar has decorations on it to give more focus on the occasions, liturgical seasons or specific feast days. At times you may see a large print Bible on it, reminding us to read the Bible. Candles are usually there to remind us to be a light to this community and to the world. Other time we may see a crucifix to remind us of the cross that we are all called to carry when Jesus said “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me…” (Mt 17:24). Even the decorations carry a message and a reminder of God’s ways. As you reflect on everything in the church, what message do you get?


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C. S. Lewis, p. 132

“On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” –