Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Announcements: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Announcements, here are a few announcements:

Mission Talks: I have completed the talks to raise money for the world missions. There are pictures posted on http://www.holyrosaryalaska.org/.

Traveling problems: My flight from Green Bay to Wilmington, NC. was fraught with delays. From severe thunder, rain, and lightening, to fuel leaks and instrument malfunctions, to a plane having a “bird strike” right before we landed in Charlotte, NC. The bird strike mess had to be cleaned up before we could land.

Hurricane Bill: This hurricane is about four days away from hitting the East Coast. It may be a category three but thankfully is not expected to strike the East Coast.

Thank you: Thank you Aileen for doing communion services. What a great service you are doing for our church! I hope to be back the last Sunday in August.

Holy Rosary Sign: A sign was made for the entrance of the other driveway. I plan to put two fence post into the ground then build two rock fence post cylinders around them and then frame the sign with wood. If you have any other ideas please let me know.

Below is my reflection on the scripture for this week and a couple of pictures. Have a wonderful week and God Bless…Fr. Scott

Flying over the Mississippi River on my way to Green Bay.

A huge statue of Honest Abe at the Reagan National Airport in DC.

Several people asked me about Former Governor Sara Palin. I decide to put a picture of her and I on my blog.

After reading the gospel for this week, here is a my reflection. The readings follow.

All through history people have been given a choice. The choice is, that they can freely choose God, or not. All through history, there have been people who did not choose God. They chose to betray God in the Old Testament. They chose to betray Jesus in the New Testament. Sometimes we choose to betray God. What is God’s response when we want to make amends…he takes us back. We mess up, we say we are sorry, and Jesus takes us back…that is mercy.

Take a look at the Old Testament. The easiest way to look at the Old Testament is from the standpoint of Salvation History. There is a basic pattern in the Old Testament that goes like this: God promises us salvation, we promise to keep his commandments, we break our promise and betray him, and God gives us another chance. It is a cycle that goes on and on. It started with Adam and Eve. There was sin, but God saved us. Next came the first human family, Cain killed Able. Eventually sin got so bad that God sent a great flood. Noah started the human race over again. The rainbow is a sign that God will not completely destroy the world again.

So, when humans became sinful after the flood, God took different measures. The Tower of Babel story illustrated man's wickedness. The tower was the start of an urban culture being built apart from God. God scattered these people and broke it up.

Then came the story of Abraham. A covenant was made and broken. People sinned and they ended up in slavery. God’s chosen people ended up the slaves of Egyptians. Again, God showed them mercy. The Exodus. God saved the people again. He elected Moses to lead them to the promise land. Once they reached the promise land, a number of sinful and corrupt Kings started leading the God’s chosen people. King David was probably the best, but they got progressively worse.

The story of Joshua, our first reading, is a story about God giving His people another chance…allowing them to renew their promise to God to keep the commandments. In the Old Testament, every generation had a choice to choose God. Many did not choose God. They betrayed God.

Finally, God took a stand. He had tried numerous human people to lead his people to salvation, Abraham, Moses, King David…to name a few. God took a stand. He is giving us one last chance to clean up our act. He sent us his Son, Jesus Christ.

Do you think people will betray Jesus. Yes. Judas did. Peter did three times. In the Gospel, numerous disciples of Jesus betrayed him. Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” People had a choice, they refused…even the apostles became divided.

The beauty of Christianity is that if we betray Jesus, he will welcome us back with open arms. All we have to do is make that choice. As the Old Testament portrays, God is a loving and merciful God who continually saves us despite our sinfulness.

In the New Testament, Catholic Christians believe that we must choose Jesus for salvation. Choosing Jesus is the last chance we have for salvation. Jesus is our only hope.

What we are all called to do today is take a very close look at our commitment, our covenant with God. Do we choose God seven days a week? Do we choose God in our personal lives? Do we choose God at work and school? Do we choose God when we interact with people in our community (612 Total)?

Joshua 24:1-2&15-18
Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: In times past your fathers, down to Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, dwelt beyond the River and served other gods. If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." But the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD for the service of other gods. For it was the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples through whom we passed. At our approach the LORD drove out (all the peoples, including) the Amorites who dwelt in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."

Ephesians 5: 21-32
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

John 6: 60-69
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

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