What Are You Carrying with You? Jesus?
I usually do not pack light when I go on vacation. I usually take way too much stuff with me when I go on a trip. Half of what I pack usually sits in the suitcase. At the end of the trip I notice that there are shirts and shoes that are never worn. When I hop back on the plane, or re-load the car, I always wonder why am I lugging all this stuff with me from place to place? My friends tease me when they see the stuff that I carry with me. I envy those who are able to travel light and go place to place with everything they need in just one bag.
In today’s gospel we see Jesus giving some practical travel tips to his apostles. He encourages them to travel light so that they are not weighed down but can move about freely from town to town. But these travel tips are directed to support the lifestyle of a disciple of Jesus that is to be simple.
The disciples are to rely on the community for their basic support: housing, food, and money. This would be part of the tradition of hospitality at work. It also requires trust and faith that support will be provided.
Jesus didn’t launch his disciples with knowledge – i.e., a doctrinal script. Instead he sent them to touch and heal people. Theodore Roosevelt once remarked, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Taking It All In
Here we are in the middle of July, the heart of summer. The beauty of these long-lit days are the red sunrises and golden sunsets, along with the quiet moments when we get to rest and relax with family and friends. The backyard, porch, patio and park become our cathedrals. This is our holy ground for us as we sit back and try to take it all in, before it passes by and folks are looking for school supplies.
Summer forces us to unwind from the fast pace of everyday life. Summer challenges us to “spiritually pause” and catch our breath. We need to inhale the beauty of summer, so that we are renewed by the gift of God’s creation in body, mind and spirit.
Visitors From The South
I was blessed last weekend to spend some quality time with two of my nieces, Brooke and Samantha. They came up to Chicago, from Ft. Lauderdale, for a long holiday weekend. The girls hit all the major spots and shops highlighted on the tourist map of downtown. I think the only thing they missed was the Grateful Dead concert. (Yes my nieces do call me, “Uncle Lar.”)
Out Of Town
Just to let you know, I will be away from the parish for a few days of summer vacation this week. I will be hooking-up with good friends of mine that relocated to rural South Carolina last year. I’ll be amazed if I take just one suitcase with me.
I am grateful for the priests that will be covering the Masses for both parishes when I’m gone. We are blessed to have them lead us in prayer. Enjoy these days.
Giving More Than Once
The fiscal year for parishes for the Archdiocese of Chicago runs from July 1 to June 30. During these twelve months there are close to fifteen second collections for various causes and charities, that represent needs of the Catholic Church both locally and around the world. All of these organizations do great work in serving the poor, proclaiming the gospel message of Jesus Christ, and fostering the faith.
I am proud to announce that within the last year our parishes have collected a total of $32,326.32 in second collections. Below is an itemized list of the donations for each charity. Thank you for the many ways that you have supported these meaningful ministries.
- Latin America – $420.43
- Seminaries – $1,247.84
- Holy Land –$666.03
- Aid for Churches in Central and Eastern Europe– $752.00
- Catholic Charities – $2,644.00
- Peter's Pence – $2,048.38
- New World – $1,281.60
- Catholic Campaign for Human Development – $2,219.46
- PRMAA – $5,280.49
- Missionary Co-Op Plan – $3,571.00
- Sharing Parish – Assumption – $11,846.
- Other Middle East – $504.22