All of Us – #161

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

Persevere in Running the Race

I have been able to watch some of the Olympic events from Rio de Janeiro. It is amazing how close the competition is among athletes. A fraction of a second can determine the difference between winning a gold, bronze or silver medal. 

For example, I caught the tail end of the Women’s Cycling Road Race which is a grueling event. It is a test of endurance and race against the clock. The event takes over three hours for the cyclists to complete on a challenging course that is filled with twists, turns, hills and slopes. 

 Mara Abbott, from the United States was only a mile away from the finish line and the gold medal. She had about a 30 second lead in front of three cyclists who were chipping away at her lead. When Abbott reached the home stretch her lead fizzled away. With only 600 yards to the finish line the three cyclists that were chasing her were now on her back tire. Abbott was out of gas. She had nothing left in her legs to match the final spirit of the pack of three bikers. They blew past her, and she ended up in fourth place, and going home with no medal. It was amazing how she went from eyeing victory to accepting defeat in a matter of seconds. 

Our second reading today we hear the word from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews who encourages them to “persevere in running the race and keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader of faith.” Don’t grow weary and lose heart. 

This is why sharing in the Sunday Eucharist is so essential to keeping our faith strong. The Word of God and the Bread of Life nourishes us, inspires us and energizes us to live out our faith —even when life has its way of wearing us down. Our prayer and worship puts us in communion with Christ, who is there to give us life and hope. May God’s grace and mercy help us to finish strong on our spiritual journey.  Hopefully we will not run out of gas with the finish line only a few feet away. May our reward in heaven be great!

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. This year, because the feast day falls on a Monday, it is not a holy day of obligation.  

However, note that Mass will be celebrated in the morning on Monday, August 15th at St. Joseph Church at 8:00 a.m. Come and honor our Blessed Mother. We ask for her intercession so that one day, we too may share God’s heavenly home.

“Night Fever” at Holy Name Cathedral

There is an ad in today’s bulletin entitled “Night Fever.” No, it has nothing to do with disco dancing or the Saturday Night Fever movie from the 80’s.

Actually, our neighbors at Holy Name Cathedral parish, located at State Street and Chicago Avenue, host quarterly, an evening for young adults to come for prayer, music and Reconciliation. The church is opened for extended hours so that folks can stop in and make a visit, even if it is late at night.

In the past I have helped to hear confessions for Night Fever with some of the priests who also serve in our neighborhood. I found it to be a special time to enjoy the sacredness of our beautiful cathedral, and to be spiritually connected with others in prayer. 

The event is well organized. There are plenty of priests to allow for ample time to hear confessions. Live music is performed by a good group of young adults. The interior of the church shares a sacred glow from the candles lit by visitors. 

Last time, nearly 600 persons stopped into the cathedral for a visit. If you are looking for something more to enhance your prayer life outside of Mass, I would definitely check it out. Bring a friend. You can stay as long as you like. Details are in today’s bulletin or by visiting the Nightfever webpage.

– Fr. Larry