Food for Thought ...
We can choose to cultivate kindness. Those who do so become stars shining in the midst of darkness.
- Pope Francis
Wednesday Evening Holy Hour: 6:00PM
Saturday: 5:00PM (Vigil)
Your donations and support are vital to funding our parish operations.
If you already donate via your bank debit or through the electronic giving platform, we thank you!
If not, it’s easier than ever to sign up for electronic giving through our safe, secure and easy to use electronic giving platform. Please visit the givecentral.org website here and follow the prompts to donate to Immaculate Conception.
It’s that easy and we are so grateful!
You can also make your donation directly to Immaculate Conception Parish, at 770 Deerfield Rd Highland Park, IL 60035.
Thank you! We appreciate your support as we journey together through this in prayer, with and for, one another.
God Bless, Father Mike McMahon and the IC Parish Staff
Father Mike’s Homiletter – July 25, 2021
Scripture: 2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145:10-11, 15-18; Ephesians 4:1-6; John 6:1-15
This Sunday marks the first World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly, initiated by Pope Francis earlier this year. The date, the fourth Sunday in July, was chosen for its nearness to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, by tradition the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. Pope Francis is big on the role that grandparents have in the lives of their grandchildren.
In a world which is obsessed with youth, it is good to focus on how much our grandparents and other older loved ones have done for us. Many of them emigrated from another country and culture, leaving their own loved ones and a known environment, in order to provide a better life for their children and grandchildren. For most of us, they played a significant part in passing on the faith we hold: attending our sacramental celebrations, providing an example of how to live for and with God. They took time for us when parents may have been unavailable due to illness, work or other needs. They told us stories of their grandparents, so we would understand where we came from and who we were. They were a source of laughter, encouragement, and love. The generations before us endured the difficulties and disasters of their age, as we must endure those of our time. It is both wise and practical to look to our grandparents for lessons in how to endure, how to stay loving and kind, how to hold onto the faith we share as we cope with modern life. I think we will find they modelled the virtues St. Paul mentions in his letter to the Ephesians: humility, patience, gentleness. And I think we would find that they were grateful people: grateful to God and to others for what they had been given and achieved, not grumblers about what they missed. The played the long game, and they look back with a long-term appreciation of life and faith, and how good God has been to them.
This week the Olympic games also begin: thousands of athletes from around the world have trained for years for the opportunity to compete with others who also try to be the best. This year, athletes have had an additional one-year “training” period due to the Covid-19 delay. They have devoted their lives to their sports: practicing early and late, struggling to improve, sacrificing much of what we would call “normal life” in order to hone skills which would get them to the games. They are expected to compete in s spirit of fellowship, good sportsmanship and honor. They have given up much to get to Tokyo. Yet the games last only 16 days. Most of the athletes will not get medals or lucrative sports equipment contracts: they are there to do their best in competition with others, and for the experience of meeting athletes from other countries. Yet for most, it will all be over in two to three weeks, give or take some notoriety when they return home. Some may continue in their sports for another Olympic cycle, but eventually age, if not injury or the need to go back to a more balanced life, will put an end to Olympic participation for most of them, though I imagine most of those who have had the Olympic experience would say that it was well worth it. And some may have a number of aches and pains to remind them of the experience for the rest of their lives. The next call to the Olympic contest will go to the next crop of youth, who have been waiting their turn as they train for glory.
Our reading from St. Paul today has a certain Olympic echo to it: Paul, who has committed everything to his call to preach the Gospel, and been imprisoned for his efforts, makes a very simple and clear demand of us: “live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,” a call far more important than a call to the Olympic games, and one which lasts longer. He reminds his readers that they have been baptized in one Lord, one faith, and that they are children of one God who is Father of all. They must be united in spirit as they live while awaiting their entrance into the eternal kingdom. To do this, they must live in humility, gentleness, patience and love. In some ways, these demands seem less rigorous that those of an Olympic athlete – and the rewards last more than two weeks – they last for eternity.
And God will give us everything we need for the effort. Both our first reading and the Gospel speak of times when God has provided: in the Old Testament, when a food offering is brought to the prophet Elisha during a famine, he directs that it be given to the people to eat, even though his servant protests it is not enough. In John’s Gospel, Jesus feeds 5000 men with five barley loaves and two fish. And in both cases, there were leftovers! God provides what we need and more. He will give us the grace and strength to “live in a manner worthy of the call” we have received. And there is no limit on the number who can win the gold medal – it, and eternal life, are available to everyone who tries to achieve it. And God is coaching us to win!
Peace! Father Mike
Readings for the week of July 18, 2021
- Sunday: Jer 23:1-6 / Ps 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6  / Eph 2:13-18 / Mk 6:30-34
- Monday: Ex 14:5-18 / Ex 15:1bc,-2, 3-4, 5-6 [1b] / Mt 12:38-42
- Tuesday: Ex 14:21—15:1 / Ex 15:8-9, 10 and 12, 17 [1b] / Mt 12:46-50
- Wednesday: Ex 16:1-5, 9-15 / Ps 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28 [24b] / Mt 13:1-9
- Thursday: Sg 3:1-4b or 2 Cor 5:14-17 / Ps 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9  / Jn 20:1-2, 11-18
- Friday: Ex 20:1-17 / Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11 [cf. Jn 6:68c] / Mt 13:18-23
- Saturday: Ex 24:3-8 / Ps 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15 [14a] / Mt 13:24-30
- Next Sunday: 2 Kgs 4:42-44 / Ps 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18 [cf. 16] / Eph 4:1-6 / Jn 6:1-15
Immaculate Conception Parish offers a very fine Religious Education Program (P.R.E.P.) to provide the very best in formation and education for our grade school parishioners.
Immaculate Conception Parish does not have a parochial school. For those who would like to consider the time honored option of a catholic school we are happy to provide the following links to the Catholic School options in association with the parish.