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Mark Jacks

12th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Rembrandt | The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 4:40

"Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"

Readings for Sunday: Job, 2nd Corinthians, Mark


One of life’s most challenging questions is why God allows suffering. We often ask why God permits cancer, the loss of a child, or personal hardships like losing a job or home. While a complete explanation is complex, today’s Gospel offers us a perspective. Mark 4:35-41 emphasizes that while Christ saves us, God still permits struggles and suffering for our spiritual growth and to deepen our love for Him.

Observing the world’s suffering and injustice suggests a fundamental problem that cannot be resolved merely through education or social programs. Sin, or the rejection of God’s love, has introduced death and suffering into the world.

However, God, through Jesus, has shown His care by experiencing human suffering and death. This act of solidarity and sacrifice is central to salvation, which involves not just escaping hell but also renewing and healing a broken creation.

God permits suffering to foster true love and trust in Him. Through adversity, like the apostles’ fear during a storm calmed by Jesus, we are called to deepen our faith and relationship with God. Ultimately, salvation is about perfecting our love for God and one another, preparing us for eternal happiness in heaven.

Reflection Questions

  • How do you respond to suffering in your life—do you see it as a chance to deepen your faith and trust in God?
  • When facing storms in your life, do you trust that Jesus is with you, calming the chaos?
  • How can you grow in love for God and others through your struggles and challenges?

11th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Mark 4:30

"To what shall we compare the kingdom of God?"

Readings for Sunday: Ezekiel, Second Corinthians, Mark


In Sunday’s readings, we explore the Kingdom of God, a term often used but not always fully understood. Many people equate the Kingdom of God with heaven or an eternal life with God, but often miss its broader implications. Historically, during Jesus’ time, the phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ evoked varied responses. The Sadducees saw it as a shadowy existence, while the Pharisees anticipated a revived Kingdom of Israel led by a messianic descendant of King David.

Jesus, however, presented a different understanding. As King, not merely through earthly descent but as God incarnate, He spoke of a heavenly kingdom that transcends physical space.

It is a state of existence with God, akin to an alternate reality or parallel dimension. This kingdom is also made up of people, described as living stones built into a spiritual house.

Jesus’ teachings indicate that the Kingdom of God is both present and future—it is growing now, through the Church, and will be fully realized in the end times. Our entry into this kingdom is through grace and requires our cooperation. We must live as true citizens of this kingdom, reflecting Jesus’ reign in all aspects of our lives.

Reflection Questions

  • How are you living as a citizen of the Kingdom of God in your daily actions?
  • Is Jesus truly the King over your life, influencing your choices and behaviors?
  • How do you cooperate with God’s grace to grow spiritually?

10th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Mark 3:28

"All sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin"

Readings for Sunday: Genisis, Second Corinthians, Mark


Many people have wondered what Jesus meant, in the Sunday Gospel reading, when he said: “all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” God wants our salvation; thus he forgives our sins. The prerequisite for receiving that forgiveness, however, is repentance. Without acknowledging our sins, how can we recognize that we need God’s mercy? Once we have recognized our need, it is then the act of repentance in which we open our hearts to receive that mercy.

If we understand this, then we can understand what Jesus meant. According to Augustine, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the refusal to repent. In refusing to repent, one is not only rejecting God’s mercy, and hence will forever be stuck in sin, but also profaning God’s name by making God out to be a liar. It is effectively asserting that I am right, and God is wrong; it is effectively asserting that what he calls sin, I decide to be good (at least for me).

Reflection Questions

  • Where is there still sin in your life? Are you willing to repent, or are you obstinate, justifying yourself?
  • Do you engage in an examination of conscience at the end of every day, recognizing your sins in order to ask for God’s mercy and change your life the next day?
  • Do you seek the illumination of the Holy Spirit to show you the areas of sin in your life that, perhaps, you do not sufficiently recognize?

Trinity Sunday

Matthew 28:19

Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

Readings for Trinity Sunday: Deuteronomy, Romans, Matthew


The Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—is a profound mystery that reveals the very nature of God as love. When we say “God is love,” we are not just describing an attribute of God but expressing His fundamental essence.

One key to understanding the Trinity is the concept of personhood. In contemporary language, “person” typically refers to an individual human. However, in theology, it refers to identity, “who” someone is, not “what.” Angels are not humans, yet each is a person. Furthermore, while Jesus is simultaneously God and man, he is not two different persons. Jesus is not a divine person and a human person. Who is Jesus? He is the Son, the second person of the Trinity; he is a divine person. As such, he has always been God, yet, he added a human nature or human existence to himself, one day in time.

Thus, Jesus is one person, the divine person of the Son, who exists two ways at the same time: as God and as man. Jesus is not a human person; he is a divine person. Personhood and nature, as in human nature, are two different things. Furthermore, we distinguish person from personality. While Jesus is a divine person (answering the question of “who” did all that), he is still 100% human, and thus still has a human personality. Personality pertains to what we like or dislike, what we find funny or the foods we like.

Because “person” does not mean individual existing human, or even individual existing god, we can appreciate the Trinity. We believe in one God who is simultaneously three persons. This is what it means to say that “God is Love.” Love is what God is, not merely  what he does. He is love within himself. Since love requires at least two persons, we can appreciate that God is the relationship of the Father and the Son, which is their Holy Spirit. The word in the Bible to describe God as “love” is agape; it means self-emptying, self-giving. As such, God is love; God is the Father, who gives himself and his existence 100% to the Son. The Son received the Father’s very being, and gives it back as love to the Father. The Father and Son share one existence. The bond of love they share, the existence they share is the Holy Spirit. The Son is 100% God as the Father is 100% God, it is just he is a different person, a different identity.

This self-giving love is at the core of God’s nature and is also the basis of our salvation. Reflecting on the Trinity challenges us to reevaluate our understanding of love and personhood, inviting us into a deeper relationship with God.

Reflection Questions

  • How can you incorporate the understanding of the Trinity as a model of self-emptying love into your daily life?
  • Reflect on a moment when you experienced self-giving love. How does this reflect the nature of the Trinity?
  • Spend some time in prayer, thanking each person of the Trinity for their role in your life and asking for a deeper understanding of their love for you.

St. James School Principal


If you are interested in this position and want to learn more contact Kelly Busa: [email protected]

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools serve more than 40,000 students in 150+ elementary and high schools in Cook and Lake counties. It is one of the largest private school systems in the United States. Its schools have received 96 Blue Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education over the past 10 years.

The elementary school principal is hired by and is accountable to the pastor or the Jurisic person for the operation of the school. The principal is expected to abide by the established policies and procedures of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Office of Catholic Schools, and the directives of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools. The principal participates in the annual performance review outlined by the Office of Catholic Schools.

Catholic Identity

  • Promotes and facilitates an environment which fosters the Catholic identity of the school
  • Ensures that the faculty is current in the areas of theology, religious education and catechetical skills
  • Promulgates and periodically revises the school mission statement and philosophy in collaboration with the school community
  • Encourages and educates students, school families and faculty member to celebrate liturgies, including Sunday Mass, and the season/feasts of the liturgical year
  • Promotes parent/guardian partnerships in advancing the mission of the school and the ministry of the Catholic education

Academic Excellence

  • Ensures all students learn to their fullest potential, using data to inform decision-making
  • Supervises implementation of the Office of Catholic Schools curricula in a rigorous, relevant, and age-appropriate manner that develops students’ ability to continually succeed
  • Assists faculty in utilizing effective learning strategies that integrate technology
  • Acts as the instructional leader of the school by recruiting, hiring, supervising, evaluating, and providing quality professional development for highly qualified, certified staff members to improve student learning

School Viability

  • Serves as the executive officer to the board, helping to prepare for meetings, informing them of policy, and leading their continual professional development and goal setting
  • Collaboratively develops and successfully implements strategic planning that involves representatives of all stakeholders of the school and wider community
  • Prepares the annual school budget in cooperation with the board and parish
  • Monitors the budget and finances to ensure proper cash flow with diverse funding sources to support the financial stability of the school
  • Provides for regular review of financial statements by the pastor/Jurisic person and board to ensure awareness of the financial position of the school and makes necessary adjustments for financial viability
  • Promulgates written local financial policies and procedures for collection and disbursement of all school funds based on Archdiocesan best practices and ensures their proper implementation
  • Stabilizes and/or grows enrollment to reach full capacity of the school by implementing an enrollment management plan, overseeing an enrollment management team, and conducting an annual appeal to provide for scholarships/programs
  • Ensures the maintenance and safety of the school plant according to local, state, Archdiocesan and the Office of Catholic Schools policies, procedures, and directives

General Administration

  • Designs and implements communication strategies to ensure that the pastor /Jurisic, staff, parish school families, prospective families, and the community are informed about school matters and engaged in the school
  • Develops appropriate handbooks for school families and school staff
  • Works with the board to successfully complete school and system goals
  • Utilizes teacher teams and shared leadership to delegate responsibilities
  • Develops an organized work environment and adheres to deadlines and requests
  • Oversees discipline in a respectful, proactive way according to Archdiocesan policy
  • Maintains professional, working relationships with all members of the school community and involves them in the decision-making process of the school where appropriate
  • Identifies, encourages, and mentors future school leaders
  • Maintains accurate local files and records for each student and employee
  • Attends required Archdiocesan, Office of Catholic Schools and local meetings
  • Implements conflict management procedures as necessary
  • Promotes a culture of respect for each member of the community
  • Oversees co-curricular activities (extended school day, sports, activity clubs) ensuring that the programs are in compliance with local and Archdiocesan policies
  • The principal is expected to supervise and evaluate staff and student progress and school safety through regular site visits to the classrooms and all other areas of the school plant.

Dates of employment: July 1st through June 30th of the school year, with attendance of all July meetings a requirement.



Masters or better in Education/Administration or related field.


Must be Catholic

3 years: Professional experience in a Catholic School

Licenses & Certifications
Administrator License

If you are interested in this position and want to learn more contact Kelly Busa: [email protected]

Ascension of the Lord

Mark 16:15

Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.

Readings for the Ascension of the Lord: Acts, Ephesians, Mark


In Mark 16:15-20, Jesus instructs his disciples to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” This commissioning is the foundation of the Church’s mission, which is to carry the message of salvation to all corners of the earth. The word “mission” comes from the Latin word “missionem,” which means “to be sent.” This reflects the nature of our call—to be sent by God, the ultimate sender, to fulfill a specific task.

Reflecting on the mission of the Church, we are reminded of our role in this divine mission of love and redemption.

Just as Christ was sent by the Father to save the world, we too are sent to continue his work. Our mission is to proclaim the good news of salvation and bring others into communion with Christ.

We are challenged to consider how we are living out our mission. Are we actively sharing the gospel with others? Are we living lives that reflect the love and mercy of Christ? Let us embrace our mission with courage and zeal, knowing that through us, God’s love and salvation can reach the ends of the earth.

Reflection Questions

  • Do you consciously and purposefully share the good news of salvation with those around you?
  • In what specific ways can you demonstrate the love and mercy of Christ in your daily interactions?
  • How can you further develop your relationship with Christ to fulfill your mission within the Church effectively?

Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 15:12-13

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Sixth Sunday of Easter Readings: Acts, 1 John, John


We often use the word “love.” We say everything from “I love pizza” to “I love my children.” Yet, we hope that people “love” their children in a very different way than the way they “love” pizza. In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” But what did he mean? In Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament, there are different words for love, each of which means something different. For example, there is philos, which means “brotherly love” or close friendship; hence Philadelphia is the “City of Brotherly Love.” The word Jesus uses, however, is agape, which means to do good for the sake of the other person, without expectation of repayment or return.

For Jesus, it isn’t merely altruism, but the willingness to pour out your own life for the benefit of others, hence he says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” We see this agape in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; he gave his life for our salvation.

Jesus, in turn, invites us to live in such a loving relationship with him. As he gave his life for us and continues to give himself to us in the Eucharist, we are called to love him and others in the same way. That is why he continues in today’s Gospel, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain… This I command you: love one another.”

This command to “love” is not a command to have certain feelings. Agape is about what we choose to do and the reason behind it. There is a world of difference between loving our neighbor and liking our neighbor. That is why Christ can command us to even love our enemies. You can love someone you don’t like just as you can like someone you do not truly and authentically love. To love as Christ loves is authentic holiness; it is never easy.

Reflection Questions

  • Do I authentically love Christ, or do I merely like him? Am I a disciple or an admirer?
  • What are my struggles in willing in the good and doing good for people I don’t like?
  • Even with my family and friends, do I have expectations of repayment or return?

Fifth Sunday of Easter

John 15:5

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing."

Fifth Sunday of Easter Readings: Acts, 1 John, John


The Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter, John 15:1-8, invites us to reflect deeply on our spiritual journey. Christ uses the analogy of plants needing care to thrive. Just as plants require attention, our spiritual lives require us to remain connected to Christ, who is the vine. This connection is not merely superficial; it necessitates recognizing that our lives belong to Christ, who redeemed us. This understanding should fundamentally shape our daily lives, leading us to live as disciples of Jesus, seeking to grow in our faith and avoid sin.

John 15:1-8 emphasizes this message, with Jesus declaring, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”

This passage underscores the necessity of remaining in Christ, being pruned through ongoing conversion, and bearing the fruits of love and holiness in our lives.

Reflecting on this, we are called to consider our closeness to Jesus, identify areas in our lives that need pruning, recognize where we are bearing fruit, and determine what steps we are willing to take to deepen our relationship with Him. The most fundamental aspect of our spiritual life is recognizing that our lives are not our own, but belong to Christ, who made us and redeemed us at a great price (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Reflection Questions

  • Are you actively remaining in Christ, recognizing that your life belongs to Him, and seeking to deepen your relationship with Him each day?
  • What areas of your life need pruning, where you are attached to things other than Christ?
  • In what ways are you bearing fruit in your life, reflecting the love and holiness of Christ to others?

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:12

"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved"

Fourth Sunday of Easter Readings: Acts, 1 John, John


There is something scandalous in the readings of today’s Mass – Skandalon (from the Greek σκανδαλον) meaning a stumbling block or an offense. Particularly in today’s climate of “tolerance” and indifferentism, to make such a bold claim as Peter made when he said, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved,” is seen as arrogant and exclusive. It is exclusive – a claim that Jesus has something precious and unique to offer. Jesus Himself told His Apostles, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

Other world religions do not have the understanding of salvation that Christ revealed to us. They reject the notion of “divine filiation,” or becoming sons and daughters of God. That is also a scandal to other world religions.

In 1 John 3:1, we hear these words, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.”

These passages of Sacred Scripture reveal to us God’s desire for a communion of life and love with His creatures. Our God Jesus went to His death to make this happen. His Resurrection, which we celebrate in a glorious way during these fifty days of the Easter season, conquered death and gives us hope – hope that we will share His life eternally if we live for Him, and receive Baptism and the Holy Spirit. After that, we must go into the world and proclaim this Truth to everyone.

Reflection Questions

  • Reflect on the concept of “divine filiation” and how it shapes our identity as children of God. How does this belief influence your relationship with God and others?
  • How does the Resurrection of Jesus Christ give us hope for eternal life? How can we share this hope with others in our daily lives?

Third Sunday of Easter

Luke 24:48

"You are witnesses of these things."

Third Sunday of Easter Readings: Acts, 1 John, Luke


“You are witnesses of these things,says Jesus to the Apostles after His resurrection. What things is Jesus referring to? “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46-48

In these verses Jesus is speaking to the whole Church as well. He is speaking to us today. Witnessing our Catholic faith to the world is the urgent task of every baptized and confirmed Catholic.

Recently Cardinal Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington, rightly spoke quite clearly about the unacceptable practice of choosing which Catholic teachings one will accept, while rejecting others. He was speaking particularly about those who publicly proclaim their Catholicism while rejecting and even attacking defined Church teaching. 

It can be a real temptation to downplay, ignore or even reject those challenging teachings of our Church. We are witnesses of these things. Let’s pray that the grace and the power of the Holy Spirit will strengthen us to be true witnesses.

Reflection Question

  • How can you better witness to your Catholic faith in your daily life, especially when faced with opposition or temptation to compromise on Church teachings?
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