All of Us – #143

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     Fr. Larry Lisowski Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church in Chicago

Where Do You See Jesus?

In the gospel today we hear of the appearance of Jesus by the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection. This is one of the great dramatic stories in the New Testament. Most of the disciples had returned to Galilee and were just sitting around until Peter perked them up by suggesting that they go fishing. The implication is that the disciples were likely to resume their life as fisherman in Galilee and that their spirits were low. The atmosphere of discouragement was only heightened by their inability to catch any fish. 

A man shouts to them from the shore and tells them where to cast the net and find the fish. Immediately, the nets are heaving with the catch. When the disciples reach shore, they realize it is Jesus and he feeds them. He has fish already on the fire, yet he invites them to bring some of their abundant catch in a mutual sharing.

Being followers of Jesus gives us meaning and purpose. We are often busy without a strong sense of meaning and purpose. Yet it is exciting, as it was for the disciples. For us to recognize that Jesus is here – living and ready to engage with us as we journey through life. Today’s gospel reminds us that an encounter with Jesus can lead us to take unexpected paths. To see with eyes of faith Jesus calls us to let go of our private and limited vision. Where do you see Jesus present in your life?

“Let The Children Come To Me.”

It can be hard for young children to fully appreciate and comprehend all that happens at our Sunday liturgy. They can easily become distracted or bored. It can be difficult for them to fully grasp what is going on, especially when adults have assumed most of the liturgical roles. Even the language that we use at Mass contains words geared for adults; and the homilies are usually directed to an adult audience. 

Our parish will offer a new ministry to help our young children understand and appreciate the Sunday scripture stories when they come to church. The ministry is called “Breaking Open the Word for Children.” You may have seen this take place in other parishes. 

At Mass, the children (ages 4-7,) will be dismissed from church for the Liturgy of the Word. Adult catechists will prepare a lesson, a reflection and an activity for them based on the readings for that particular Sunday. The scriptures therefore become more “child friendly” as we help bring the word of God “to life” for them. The children also have the opportunity to pray together. They will return to their families in church right before the offertory of gifts.

Bulletins For Children

Our parish has subscribed to Children’s Worship Bulletins that families can take home each Sunday. Each bulletin has 4 panels packed with Bible-based games, puzzles, word searches, seek-and- finds, dot-to dots; and many more activities children love. They are carefully designed using proven educational methods endorsed by Christian educators and pastors of all denominations. You can find the children’s bulletins on the back tables in church. Look for the blue and orange sheets. Enjoy!  

Easter Giving

Our Easter collection is a significant part of the projected income our Parish Operating Budget. So far our Easter Sunday collection has totaled $37,634. This is a 25% decrease from our Easter collection last year. We budgeted $49,000.

Some parishioners may have been away from Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph during the Spring Break and celebrated Easter with their relatives in another parish. Please remember our parish in your Easter Giving. We thank you for you financial support for the mission and ministries of our parish.

– Fr. Larry