All of Us – #152

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

Showing The Greatest Love

In today’s Gospel, we get a good glimpse of the Kingdom of God as Jesus reaches out to those who are condemned by the religious laws of their time. Jesus is invited to a meal by Simon the Pharisee; but once he is seated at the table, a woman with a bad reputation crashes the party. She starts behaving in what the other guests believe to be a very inappropriate manner. She begins weeping over Jesus’ feet, kissing them, and finally anointing them with ointment. 

Imagine if that happened today. Think of the embarrassment it would cause. 

The woman is accepted and forgiven by Jesus. Such unexpected generosity releases in her extravagant gestures of love that match God’s hospitality. She reflects the abundant grace of God, which unexpectedly breaks through boundaries that human beings seek to impose. The woman has experienced forgiveness for her many sins and in a sense she can’t restrain her love. 

Simon the Pharisee, like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son, does not want to celebrate God’s unlimited forgiveness; he disapproves of it. It is Jesus who shows that God is determined to reach out to the lost sheep and share meals with sinners and tax collectors. God’s love seems disruptive and even dangerous. 

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are invited to imitate the extravagant love of the woman and not the stinginess of Simon. How can we overcome the divisions that divide families and communities? Are we willing to allow God’s unlimited forgiveness to work in us? How can we witness to God’s healing love in our lives?

Eternal Rest Grant To Her O Lord

On Friday, June 17th, there will be a Memorial Mass celebrated at 10:00 am for Mary Lollie who was a long-time parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church. Her children went to school at Immaculate Conception. Please keep her family in your prayers.

Taking Care of Our Brother Priests

Thank you to all who are able to contribute to our Second Collection today for the Retired Priests of Chicago. This collection helps to defray many of the exorbitant medical costs of our elderly priests who need special care. 

We are grateful for the help that many retired priests still offer to the parishes throughout the archdiocese. We would be lost without them. For example, Fr. Larry McBrady, who is retired, has been a tremendous help to our parish community. His ministry is a gift and blessing to many.

50 Years, And Still Serving God’s People

This Sunday I will be in Knoxville, Tennessee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of priesthood for Fr. Mike Woods. He is a close friend to my family and me for the past 30 years. Fr. Mike is in his mid-70’s and still sheparding the flock at All Saints Parish in Knoxville that has over 3,000 families. I wish I had his energy!

How About A “Catholic Uber” ?

Our parish provides transportation on Sundays for those who need a ride to Mass. There are a handful of seniors who use the shuttle service each week. If you need a ride or know someone who could benefit from this service, contact our Parish Office to make arrangements. 

Also, we are in need of volunteers who can help drive our parish van on Sundays. If you are interested, please contact our Business Manager, Mark Besztery for more information. 

I came up with the idea of a “Catholic Uber App.” Parishioners can give a ride to other parishioners when coming to Mass and other parish events. Until the app is launched, we’ll just have to do it the old fashion way… by word of mouth. 

Do you know someone who could use a lift? I am sure they would enjoy it. 

A few months ago, after the 12:30 pm Mass, I gave three women a ride home. They lived in the Gold Coast area. It was a hoot!  It was like a scene out of Driving Miss Daisy. No… I didn’t charge them.

Moving Right Along

Our Parish Council had a great meeting last week when they met with parishioners who signed-up to help implement the four initiatives of the Parish Transformation Program; Missionary Spirit, Spiritual Life, Stewardship and Communications. We are off to a great start!

If you would like to volunteer for any of these areas of parish life, you can still do so through our parish website: www.icsjparish.org. Each of the committees will still be recruiting over the next couple of months. We can use yourtime and talents.

– Fr. Larry