From the Pastor's Desk

Six and a half years ago I had the blessing of participating in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group of priests from Chicago. My favorite place from all of the sites we visited was the Sea of Galilee, or Lake of Tiberias. We had the opportunity of celebrating Mass on a boat. After receiving Holy Communion, I was meditating, staring at the water, thinking that in the same lake, almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus walked on the water. I thought, now that Jesus is in me, in the Eucharist, would I be able to walk on the water, too, as Jesus did?

Sometimes we think that by seeing something amazing or miraculous is how God is going to show that He is with us. When we face some kind of difficulty, we like to see some heavenly sign as a proof that the Lord is watching over us. Today’s first reading from the first book of Kings gives a clue as to how sometimes God shows His presence among us, as He did with Elijah. God was not in a heavy wind, nor in an earthquake, neither in fire, but in a tiny whispering sound. Every day God manifests His presence among us in very simple and natural ways: in the smile of an infant, in the flowers of our garden, and in the birds of the sky. But, do we have the eyes of our faith wide open to recognize Him? Or like Peter, do we have little faith and doubt?

Simon Peter was doing something incredible: walking on the water like Jesus! But in place of being amazed for doing what Jesus allowed him to do, he got distracted by his surroundings: the waves and the wind. He was terrified! Then, he began to sink in the water. Because he was unable to pay attention to the amazing things he was doing through Jesus, he had to be rescued and admonished by the Lord because of his little faith.

God is always with us. Even when we sin, God does not leave us. We move away from God, but God is always there, waiting for us. We need to gain confidence that He will never forsake us. We need to trust in Him completely, even when He does not do what we expect. God is a loving Father always giving the best to us, His children. We have to love Him back, not because it is an obligation, but because it is the natural thing to do. By honoring Him, we grow in our confidence of His love, even though we are unable to perform amazing deeds in His name.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Talking about honoring God, one way to do so, is by celebrating His mother. Lately many Catholics do not have the sense of what a holy day of obligation means. All Sundays are holy days of obligation, in which the faithful are asked to participate in the celebration of Mass, but besides Sundays, there are a couple of other days that it is obligatory to go to Mass: January 1, Solemnity of Mary Mother of God; August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; November 1, All Saints’ Day; December 8, the Immaculate Conception of Mary; and December 25, Christmas. This year, the Assumption of Mary into heaven is this Tuesday, August 15, and we have the following mass schedule to participate in mass, to honor Mary:

Monday, August 14

Vigil bilingual Mass 7:00 p.m. at St. Maurice Church

Tuesday, August 15

English Mass 6:30 a.m. at SS Peter & Paul Church

Spanish Mass 8:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church

I hope you can make time to come and join us to celebrate that our Mother, the Mother of Jesus was taken up to heaven in body and soul.

Summer Fest

For our first Summer Fest, we had a great time! Once again, thank you for all your support with your generous donations and your presence. Thanks to all the volunteers that prepared the delicious food we enjoyed and assisted us with all different responsibilities. We will have a meeting in the future to evaluate and present additional ideas so we can have a better event for next year.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Ismael

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