Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum.

For those of you who have responded thus far to the invitation to offer a tenth of your weekly income to the parish, Thank You! I hope that our repetitive custom of formally bringing our offering to the altar will instill in us a deeper consciousness of ownership and of truly belonging to our parish. Our participation in the parish life requires our sense of balance as well as our active involvement in the liturgical, social and economic life of the parish. As I mentioned during one of my homilies, parish life is the prefiguration of the Kingdom of God that He has entrusted to us for further care and development. It is the same parish which is our spiritual home that invites us always to care for with pastoral sensitivity both the spiritual and economic necessities that the signs of the times present to us today. Yes, the parish is our spiritual home, our spiritual family that challenges and disciplines our relationship with God and with one another.

In the meantime, the signs of the times call our attention to share in our responsibility to care for each other in a spirit of fraternity and mutual compassion. The Kermes organization that was initially formed two months ago is calling us to be a support to each other both in its leadership and in our participation. Have you considered or at least thought about the possibility of contributing your time, your talent and your treasure during the Kermes Festival in August? Our priorities are the driving force that will bring us to the entry point of either charity or conscientiousness to the needs of others. So much so that the success of our current organizers depends on how we make ourselves part of the bigger picture as their active supporters in all aspects of this annual event. Our place in the life of the Church also affirms our interaction in the presence of God. So, I encourage you to come forward and be actors rather than simply spectators by being pro-active in volunteering as cooks, ticket vendors, garbage collectors, set-up and clean-up crews and much more. You know that our Kermes is a labor-intensive fundraising event, but it is also a fun interaction amongst the people of our neighborhood in Rogers Park.

In the end, the Gospel relates to us the importance of the treasures that we keep. Whether those treasures are material, relational or spiritual, our sense of priorities remain as our reference to a wiser choice. The energy that we spend in guarding and keeping those treasures defines who we are as children of God. There should be similitude of our interest in what God wants us to have. Perhaps it is spiritually recommendable to ask ourselves today, “What do I consider as my wealth right now that I can bring with me when the Lord calls me to return to His abode one day?”

I shall see you again next weekend. May God be with you, and may you remain in Him always.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,