The Pastor's Column

Fr. Lara's Lines

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Love One Another
In the gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples to keep the greatest of the commandments, to love one another as he loves us. This commandment does not abolish the Old Testament laws but rather fulfills it. The commandments given to Moses by God are based on love of God and neighbor. We must follow the commandments because by doing that, we demonstrate our desire to wish one another good. Love is not a feeling but an act of the will. Love is to will the good of the other. It is a covenant of giving ourselves to others without expecting anything in return.

We need to recognize how much God loves us: He sent his only Son to the world to take away our sins, to rescue us from death, and to give us eternal life. That is the greatest act of love, giving up himself for our sake. His love is unconditional, without expectation of anything in return. God loves us perfectly and unconditionally. This is a great challenge for us. We are instructed to love God in the same perfect and unconditional way. Are you following Jesus’ command to love one another as he has loved us? It is a work in progress but, with the help of God, everything is possible. I suggest that we start by helping others who might be in need; continue by desiring for others what we desire for ourselves, such as good health, happiness, good relationships, peace of heart, success, etc. Also, let’s admire and acknowledge the good things others have done. Finally, let’s pray for others and resolve to love them as God loves us.

Mother’s Day
In the month of May we venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus and our Mother. Thus, it is fitting for us to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. On this very special day we honor all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and mother figures in our lives. These special women have brought us to life and given us their encouragement, care, support, inspiration, and love. Life is beautiful with our mothers and mother figures in our lives. We also pray for all mothers who have passed away. Their presence in our hearts and minds gives us the hope of seeing them once we’re reunited in heaven. We celebrate all mothers and mother figures in a special way this Sunday and we pray for them:

Loving Father, on this Mother’s Day, We give you thanks for all mothers and mother figures. They have loved and nourished our bodies and souls. May you give them the graces they most need. Let the gift of motherhood be gift to all. Keep them and all people in your peace and love. Amen

Renew My Church
By now you probably have heard about “Renew my Church” (RMC), an initiative of the Archdiocese of Chicago led by Cardinal Cupich. RMC is a vision and strategic plan for the entire archdiocese in which faith communities have the opportunity to renew and revitalize the local mission of the Church. The RMC process aims to provide communities built on the love of God and neighbor, being open to more effective ways to do ministry so we can reach those who need to hear the Word of God.

The archdiocese asked each parish to belong to a “grouping,” a cluster of neighboring parishes. Our grouping contains three parishes, Saint Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook Parish in Northbrook; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview; and Saint Catherine Labouré in Glenview. This grouping will work together in the following months to find ways to best minister to the needs of the Northbrook and Glenview Catholic communities.

There will be more information about the RMC process in the weeks and months to come. We will start by having a “Renew my Church 101” session this coming Tuesday May 11 at 7:00pm in Church. This session will be live-streamed as well for those who cannot make it to Church. Sara Pekar, from the archdiocesan RMC team, will do a presentation on the RMC process and she will be able to answer some of the questions you might have about the program. Later on, at the beginning of the summer, we will start having meetings with all the parishes in our grouping.

Fr. Lara

Live the Liturgy

God is love. These three simple words deserve a great deal of attention. They have the power to transform our relationship with God from something that is static and distant to one that is personal and real. We all know the power of love and how important it is to completing all of the human and divine circuits of our lives. But we do not often consider the awesome fact that it is given to us as a gift and is not simply part and parcel of the human package. God is the author of love and love itself. When we truly love another human being, it is really God being God in and through us. The love to which we are called and the love of which the Gospel speaks is a selfless love that seeks the wellbeing of not only our significant others but of all of our brothers and sisters. This love, which is of God, is a love that will endure all things and bring infinite joy when experienced. It is the most sincere form of friendship.

Mother's Day and the Bible
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. While Mother’s Day is a relative new holiday in modern history, versions of similar holidays have existed through the centuries. While the Bible does not directly address the holiday, it often addresses the celebration of motherhood and mothers, such as in the following passages:

“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:22-25)
“Honor your father and your mother...” (Exodus 20:12)
“Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28)
“Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father.” (Leviticus 19:3)
“The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:25-28)
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching…” (Proverbs 1:8)
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13)

~ Excerpted from Wikipedia & Shutterfly Community