The Pastor's Column


Fr. Lara's Lines


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Mustard Seed
Jesus wants all people to share in his glory. In his public ministry, Jesus preached his desire to bring people back to his kingdom. This is also the mission of the Church--to bring about the kingdom of God on earth. Believers cannot fully understand the greatness of God’s kingdom on earth. We might get a glimpse of it through the ministerial and sacramental life of the Church. The disciples might have glimpsed it through Jesus’ parables and comparisons. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus gave an illustration of the kingdom of God: “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

The parable of the mustard seed helps us to reflect on how the kingdom of God grows in the world. Small changes might seem insignificant, but they yield substantial results over time. The mustard seed is faith that is sown in the hearts of the faithful. Although small, it can become a light to others, a source of peace to others. I think about the mustard seeds that have been sown in the hearts of our parishioners. So many people here cultivate their faith in their hearts and share it with others. They let the seeds of faith grow by praying, being kind, and being charitable to others. These small acts of kindness are like the mustard seed that grows and impacts our communities and the whole world. The kingdom of God grows in the world when we plant small seeds of faith in our hearts and the hearts of others. Are you allowing the seed of faith togrow in you? You might be called to do something more with your faith. There are many ministries in the parish that will allow you to grow in your faith. You might consider joining a ministry to be more engaged in your faith. I invite you to consider doing something more with your faith—get out of your comfort zone and explore what the Lord and the Church have to offer. We all have the seeds of faith in our lives, we are to cultivate them and let them grow for them to bear fruit.

Father’s Day
On Father’s Day, we honor all fathers and father figures in our community. Fathers have big responsibilities: to be good examples to their communities, to look after the wellbeing of their families, and to lead their children to God. This Sunday, we give thanks to God for all the fathers in our community. We are grateful for all they have done for us. We think about the fathers who are no longer with us. We pray for all fathers who have passed away that they may be welcomed in God’s kingdom. I hope you all have great Father’s Day celebrations.

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord (From Catholicculture.org )

Priesthood
All priests work for the mission of the Church. Priests have the same vocation but different gifts which are used in a variety of ways. Priests belong either to a diocese or religious community which gives context to their ministry. For instance, if a priest belongs to the Franciscan community, he might be ministering to the poor; if a priest is part of the Dominican community, he might be a teacher in a school; if a priest belongs to a diocese, he might be working in a parish. All priests are ordained ministers who celebrate the sacraments and bring about the kingdom of God through their specific ministries. Diocesan priests play an important role in our parish communities. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, priests lead our parishes and schools with the help of deacons and the laity. Priests work with their communities, each of which is different with specific gifts and challenges, but they are all part of the same Church. In the same way, priests are part of the same presbyterate.

It is important for priests to keep the bonds of brotherhood among the presbyterate. The Archdiocese of Chicago wants priests to grow together and form connections, which will help the leadership in our local Church. This is why, the archdiocese hosts a priests’ convocation every other year for all priests working in the archdiocese. This is a time to reconnect with our brother priests across the archdiocese. It is a time to reflect on our blessings and challenges. It is a time to pray together and renew our spiritual lives. The Chicago priests’ convocation will take place this week. Please pray for all the priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Peace
Fr. Lara

Recognize God in Your Oridinary Moments - By Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman
Living Parables
Whenever someone begins a sentence with, “This parable means…” I roll my eyes. (Sometimes I do this inwardly, to be polite. But I still do it.)

We have a tendency to treat the parables like our mom’s favorite casserole recipe. Ah yes, we think as we sit down to dinner, smiling as we inhale the aroma of childhood. Good ol’ mushy- chicken-rice-thing. I recognize you. I know exactly what you are. I don’t even have to think about you.

Parables are often presented as an example of how God stoops to meet the limits of human understanding: truth, but in a cute little story! And while it’s certainly true that the parables of Christ—each word, each detail, each character— are painstakingly crafted to suit the imagination and intelligence of man, we need to be careful how we think about that.

Sometimes we have a tendency to think of parables as simple and formulaic. We consign them to the genre of bedtime stories, whose point is to soothe, to lull. But these are stories that are meant to keep us awake. They are meant to keep us wondering.

When Christ spoke of the mustard seed, he was speaking the truth in words that his disciples needed to hear two thousand years ago. But he was also speaking to you today. And he was speaking to you tomorrow, and next year, and three years from now, and on your deathbed. If you read this parable on each of those occasions, you will hear something different each time. The parable, you see, is something alive.

It doesn’t change, exactly, because the truth never changes. But people change, and what they need to hear changes too.

Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you can finish Jesus’ sentences.

“With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.” — Mark 4:33
©LPi


The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of June

For Those Fleeing Their Own Countries
Let us pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys fraught with danger and violence, may find welcome and new living opportunities in their host countries.

Honor Our Military

Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.
Dear God,
We pray in gratitude for all of those who have defended peace, virtue, and justice with honor. We pray especially for those who have suffered in mind and body from the ravages of war. May Your peace reign in our hearts and in our world. Amen.

He Who Sacrificed His Life
†JOHN A. STONIS, Grandson of John & Dorthy Stonis
†CHRISTOPHER ZIMNY

Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
MATTHEW NEUBAUER, Nephew of Dan & Judy Neubauer
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
MICHAEL FOLEY
JOHN FOLEY
PETER MULLER
DANIEL FRAYNA
JOSEPH GULLO
SANG HOON LEE
ANTHONY PALMERO
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, Son of Chris & Julie McMahon
RYAN FONTILLAS
MICHAEL T. HEHN, Grandson of John & Dorthy Stonis

To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to bulletin@stcatherinelaboure.com

Please Pray for Ukraine

For our sisters and brothers involved in or affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine-- the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders. May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:

Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html

Caritas: https://www.caritas.org/

Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us

"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis


Neighbors of other Faiths
The Golden Rule

Excerpted from charterforcompassion.org/the-golden-rule-in-seven-major-religions
We may speak of great differences in religious beliefs and forms of worship around the world. Called by an endless number of names, all, however, recognize and worship a Supreme Being. And all religions, somewhere in their sacred literature, expound the fundamental philosophy of the Golden Rule.

Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
~ Buddha, Undanavarga 5:18

Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that all men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
~ Matthew 7:12

Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
~ Confucius, Analects 15:23

Hinduism: Good people proceed while considering what is best for others is best for themselves.
~ Hitopadesa

Islamism: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
~ Mohammed, Traditions

Judaism: And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Leviticus 19:18

Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.
~ Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29