6707 West 175th Street, Tinley Park, IL  60477  – Phone:  708-532-2243

Message from Father Paul

May 28, 2023

Happy Pentecost! Today is the third most important day in our Christian calendar. Easter comes first, as it is the day of our salvation. Christmas is second, as it is the day of the birth of the One who brought our salvation. And Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, is the day of God’s revelation of salvation for all. For many, the Holy Spirit is harder to relate to than the Father and the Son. We personify God the Creator as a father, an older man. We know Jesus as a human being who came to know the joys and sorrows of humanity, and offered Himself for the salvation of all. The Holy Spirit, well that’s a little more complicated. Understanding how to relate to a spirit is difficult for most people to wrap their head around. And that is reasonable. We have images of the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove at Jesus’ baptism. In the Pentecost story, the Holy Spirit appears as tongues of fire. These images have something to offer us. The dove is typically used to symbolize peace. It is a calming image, and we can all use more of that. On the other hand, fire represents our desire to purify and change the world. It may seem like these contradict each other. But in order for us to change the world effectively, we need to do so with peaceful hearts, with peaceful means and a peaceful goal.

This weekend, we honor all those who have died in service to our country. Many people under 60 years old have never been subjected to the draft, so veterans are fewer in number. Regrettably, that doesn’t mean war has been eliminated. As we all know, we just left Afghanistan after twenty years of war and violence. There have been other wars, smaller and less recognized but good American men and women still died, giving their lives to help us be more secure. We will honor our fallen heroes at Mass Monday morning at 9:00 AM, and I urge you to join in our prayer.

It was sad to witness what happened at the Armed Forces Weekend Carnival last Saturday. Using social media, a flash mob was organized. Reports say it started out without a problem but then fights broke out, endangering everyone there for no reason. Thankfully no guns were found, no shots fired. These kinds of events are destructive, most especially to our sense of security. It seems to me there are many contributing factors but the most essential are parental responsibility and instilling a sense of decency in our young people. Thank you to our local police for their swift and effective action. These events should be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to come. Looking at social media, some of the speculation and solutions proposed did not show our better selves either. But it is understandable that people feel angry, frustrated and violated. We have a good town and we want it to prosper and continue to be a great place to live.