All of Us – #183

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

So… What’s New?

Today we liturgically begin a stretch of Ordinary Time that will last almost two months. Except for today, all the Sunday Gospels will be from St. Matthew; and all, including today, will be about Jesus’ early public ministry. We will travel these next several weeks with Jesus as he sets out to proclaim the reign of God, eager to listen and learn what it means to be a disciple.

All of today’s readings are about the mission that God has for those who follow God. Isaiah speaks of being God’s servant. St. Paul said he was called to be an apostle. St. John the Baptist, himself a servant of God, identifies Jesus as the Son of God. 

When John the Baptist saw the Lord coming toward him, he cried out “Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away our sins.” Many of us have beheld the Lord Jesus as our journey of conversion continues. We pray that we may be able to see Christ Jesus more and more in the people we meet and in the ordinary things of life. 

A Country In Need of Hope And Healing

Monday is a national holiday in which we celebrate the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a courageous man who brought hope and healing to America. His mission and ministry was hallmarked by his unconditional love, forgiveness and non-violence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.

On Monday, we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice and peace. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate and embrace the values of equality and tolerance that were expressed in his great dream for America. 

We sadly face today many of the same challenges of the 1960’s; poverty, racism, war and violence. Our country is divided in many ways and is in need of healing and reconciliation. 

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and nagging question is: ‘“What are you doing for others?” ’ He would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture passage in which Jesus of Nazareth tells James and John “whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant of all.” And when Dr. King talked about the end of his mortal life in one of his last sermons, on February 4, 1968 in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he hoped that service would be the hallmark of his life. “I’d like somebody to mention on that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I want you to say on that day, that I did try in my life …to love and serve humanity.”

That We May Be One

Wednesday marks the beginning of the annual Week for Christian Unity, January 18-25. We are invited to join Jesus’ prayer, “that all may be one.” 

God of all,
we pray as one,
that we may be one,
just as the Lord Jesus prayed
we may be one in Him.
Your son Jesus compels us to bereconciled to one another.
May our spirits be joined
to your Holy Spirit,
that we may witness to the visible
unity of our Church.
May we all recognize that we are
truly one with you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
and grow together in peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord.

Generous Giving

Our 2016 Christmas collection has totaled $121,853. The good news is that we were able to reach our budgeted goal. Thank you to all who have graciously supported our parish. Your contribution has a huge impact on our ability to support the ministries of our parish.

– Fr. Larry