From the Pastor's Desk...

Some days ago, I had the opportunity to go, with the altar servers and their parents, to Mundelein Seminary. This was a trip organized by Angelica and Memo Uribe, coordinators of this ministry, with the idea to reward a bit to our young servers for their commitment and, perhaps, to expose them to the environment of people in formation to ordained ministry. I think the kids and their parents enjoyed the trip. I heard some comments about how quiet the seminary is, how peaceful and beautiful. But the comment that got my attention was that not one of the kids used their cell phones or electronic devices to play during their time at the seminary.

You know that one of the challenges we have in our times is the use and abuse of electronic personal devices like smart phones and tablets. For some parents, it seems like a very good solution when their kids are impatient or bored, to give their children one of those devices and they will be entertained for some time.

According to some therapist form the Harley Street rehab clinic in London, the use of smartphones or tables could be very addictive for teenagers and kids, almost like alcohol or cocaine. For parents, it may seem like a good solution to keep their kids quiet with an electronic device, but it could negatively affect their behavior. We can often see a positive behavioral change when children do not have the device. The best thing you can do for your kid, even for infants, in place of let them use you cell phone, it is to spend time with them, making the effort to take them to the outdoors and engage in some physical activities. I know it could take a lot of effort on your part, but they are the people God entrusted to your care. It is worth it.

In today’s gospel we meet a Canaanite woman, a person who did not share the Jewish faith, someone considered an outcast, who had the audacity to call Jesus for his help. Jesus was ignoring her request, about helping her daughter; even the disciples are asking to send her away because she keeps bothering them. Jesus response seems harsh because she is not part of the chosen people of Israel, but her love for her daughter gives her courage to express faith in Jesus. That was enough for Jesus to recognize her faith: “O woman, great is your faith!” and to grant her request. Could you do something similar for your children? Do you really love them enough to keep trying even in front of huge challenges?

I pray to the Lord that you may be able to always do the right thing and have the strength to persevere in your commitment as a Christian parent, always making the right choice because you recognize the great responsibility of having a child, and making of him or her a great disciple of Jesus and a wonderful citizen.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Ismael

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