pastor’s corner

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Hello folks, 

     The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all! 

     All existence is in the Holy Trinity, the three Persons in One God. These three Persons are described in the Eucharistic Preface as being equal in glory and majesty and a unity in substance. Almost anything we think or say of the Trinity will fall short of the whole reality, but often provides for us an entry into the mystery. A mystery in the Faith is not completely unknowable. Rather, we can continue to know more and more about such mysteries without ever knowing it all. I tend to focus on the relationship and friendship of the three Persons of the Trinity. By God the Father and the Son sending forth Their Holy Spirit to us, we are also immersed in that sacred and inseparable Friendship. This allows us the ability to completely trust the Triune God. Yet, I struggle to do so, especially when there is a deadline to meet or a tragedy that I encounter or some failure (particularly a sinful one, not so much an accidental one) on my part to accomplish a good work. What are we to do then? Lose hope? Certainly not, but reaffirm our trust in God and do the things God has revealed to us in His Word made flesh. To love God is to keep His Word. In coming to Mass, let us receive Jesus with ever greater reverence, and, as His Blessed Mother would say to us, “Do whatever He tells you!” Next weekend, we hit another milestone in the emergence from COVID, as all Archdiocesan COVID restrictions may be lifted. In many cases, the remaining restrictions are small, and in some places some restrictions may remain by local preference. Here you will notice that the remaining restricted seating areas will be removed (which had already happened at Saint John’s and happened Easter Sunday at Saint James to try to accommodate the large crowds that day). I will no longer sanitize my fingers between people or families who receive on the tongue (although I might continue to sanitize for a while before commencing distributing Holy Communion). At this time, we won’t yet distribute Holy Communion under both species, but remember that whether you receive what we announce at Communion time as the “Body of Christ” or the “Blood of Christ”, both are FULLY the WHOLE and ENTIRE Christ: His Body, Blood and Soul (that is His entire humanity) and His Divinity. By receiving under one species, one is not getting “less” Jesus or only a part of Jesus! The Eucharist, a.k.a. Holy Communion, in the Catholic Church is not merely a symbol of Jesus. Rather it IS Jesus. We can say that receiving under both species is a fuller sign of the heavenly Eucharistic banquet in the Kingdom of the Father, but by receiving under one species, one is not deprived of any grace that is necessary for salvation (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 282). God bless, 

Father Maher 

P.S. Last week, I got to attend the ordination to the priesthood of my distant relative in Peoria and, while there, I was able to pray at the tomb of Venerable Fulton Sheen. I hope that his intercession will bear great fruit in your lives and those of all the members of our two-parish pastoral collaborative.