Monday, January 25, 2010
Gospel: (See Below) The Gospel is about overcoming the fear of telling the truth. Telling the truth, according to scripture, is a way to love.
Thank you: Thank you Josh for altar serving at the funeral last week. Thank you Brian for playing “Morning has Broken” on the piano during Mass. Thank you Bernie for chopping the ice around the water spigot. Thank you JD for helping to fix the electrical problem on our truck. Thank you to Spruce for offering the books after Mass.
Pat Durbin Update: Pat is in his last week of therapy. He is staying with friends in Houston, AK. He actually purchased a cell phone and needs practice answering it and figuring it out. So give him a call. Also, keep him in your prayers. Besides recovering from his stroke he is trying to quit smoking. Pat’s Cell 907-843-1162.
Confirmation: Those to be confirmed need to write a letter to the Archbishop by the end of the month. Good Luck. If you need some help, get with your sponsor or give me a call.
The homily for this coming weekend is below. Have a wonderful week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott
Everyone has told a lie. When I was in grade school I would start a fight with my brother and I would tell my mom that I didn’t do it. But the problem was, we would usually both end up getting into trouble. It was like my mom knew I was lying, but she would never actually accuse me of lying.
As I grew up it seemed like the more I would lie, the more trouble I would get into. And to top that off, usually after I told a lie, I would feel really bad inside. I wanted to stop but did not have the courage to do so.
When I was about 12, I overheard my dad and mom talking about my grandfather. They said that he was the most honest man they knew. They said he always told the truth no matter what. I wanted to be like him. From that day on I tried extra hard to be honest and not tell lies.
When we tell lies, other people get into trouble and we don’t. But I am here to tell you, people know when we are lying. When we lie, we feel bad inside, we feel guilty, and it shows. God does not want us to hurt inside. He wants us to feel good about ourselves. When we tell the truth, God gets this big smile on his face. It may hurt to tell the truth, but lying ALWAYS hurts more.
Now days, I hardly ever lie. If I do, I try to go back to the person and tell them I lied and that I am sorry. Tell the truth, the more you do it, the easier it is to do, and the happier you will be.
The readings are about speaking the truth. Jeremiah, in the first reading has to tell people the truth: they are faced with disaster. In the gospel, when we hear about Elisha being sent to the widows, and Naaman to the lepers, Jesus’ listeners don’t like it. Here is why. Jesus’ hometown crowd does not believe that God loves the widows and lepers. But that is the truth.
What Jesus is telling his hometown crowd is that no one is excluded from the love of God.
It is a prophet’s role to speak the truth. To speak the truth to another takes courage and strength. It can even be a gamble. To speak the truth is to LOVE someone.
To speak the truth is to admit that I broke the window or I stole the money. Speaking truth may come in the form of telling someone to clean up their act. Speaking the truth takes courage.
To speak the truth is not to be angry and to lecture others into doing what you think is right.
The truth, as Saint Paul reminds us today, must be spoken with love. Truth is impossible to speak without love.
To be able to tell the truth we have to face down our fear. We have to publically show our courage. We have to take responsibility for our actions.
If you are having trouble telling the truth because you may be afraid, remember the martyrs who died for telling the truth. Remember all the support we as Catholics have for telling the truth, the saints, our guardian angel, the Holy Spirit, and our savior Jesus Christ.
Telling the truth gets easier the more we do it. Telling the truth is the way of Jesus. Truth frees our soul.
Let us pray for the grace of courage to stop lying; for strength to always tell the truth out of love; for vision to see the value of taking responsibility for our actions (621 Words).
First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19 - 4 The word of the LORD came to me thus: 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. 17 But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; 18 For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: Against Judah's kings and princes, against its priests and people. 19 They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 - 12:31 Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. 13:1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, 5 it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, 6 it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. 9 For we know partially and we prophesy partially, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. 13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30 - 21 He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." 22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Isn't this the son of Joseph?" 23 He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.' " 24 And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. 25 Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. 26 It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." 28 When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. 29 They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Gospel: Jesus came with the “Power of the Holy Spirit.” This gospel tells us what happens during confirmation. During confirmation we receive Spirit Power. We receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the gifts and fruits.
The seven gifts are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude (strength and courage), Knowledge, Piety (goodness, holiness, faithfulness), Fear of the Lord
The 12 Fruits are: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self Control, Chastity
Rosary: The next Rosary will be prayed after Mass February 7th. We will pray for those generous benefactors who have donated to our heating fuel fund. All are welcome to join us.
Prayers: Continue to keep Pat Durbin in your prayers and also the Bennis family. The sister of JD Bennis, Jacqueline Dee Grediagin, died January 13th, 2010.
Confirmation: All those wanting to be confirmed by the Archbishop must have a letter written by the end of the January 2010. The letter must explain why you want to be confirmed. The Archbishop has requested that all those wanting to be confirmed, teenager and adult, write a letter. Please give the letter to me and I will deliver it to the Bishop’s office.
Have a great week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott
Monday, January 11, 2010
Gospel: The Wedding of Cana is the second Luminous Mystery. The passage from John is fraught with messages, symbolism, and theology. The message for us today is to trust, have faith, and to let Mary help to bring our problems to Jesus.
Thank you: Thank you to Rick Tennyson for cutting and stacking a huge amount of wood for the Rectory. Your time and talent (and hard work) is greatly appreciated.
Thank you: Thanx to all who helped take down the Christmas decorations and set up the church for Ordinary Time. It was a great group effort and greatly appreciated!
Thanx: Thanks to Kristen for offering to fix the Sacramentary. The cover was tearing off. This sacred book is used at every Mass.
Prayers for Pat: After suffering a stroke early Thursday Morning (7 Jan 2009), having the ambulance take him to Kanakanak hospital, and then being medivaced to Anchorage, Pat Durbin is staying in Houston, Alaska for a couple weeks and receiving therapy in Wasilla. Please keep him in your prayers.
Have a great week and see you Sunday!
The Wedding at Cana is the second Luminous Mysteries, or otherwise known as the Mysteries of Light. Pope John Paul II added these mysteries before he died.
This passage marks the start of the two year ministry of Jesus. The first miracle Jesus performs is the turning of water into wine. This passage is fraught with theology and symbolism. Here is how you and I can use this passage in our daily lives.
Today, wine at a wedding may not be that big of deal. Some choose not to have it at all. Wine put into the context of the days of Jesus meant something very different than it does today. Good wine was crucial to a wedding feast. Without wine there was a major crisis. Further, there was pain and embarrassment for the bride and groom.
Mary sees the distress and crisis and rushes to Jesus with the problem.
Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that we should take note of Mary’s kindness and mercy: “For it is a quality of mercy to regard another’s distress as one’s own, because to be merciful is to have a heart distressed at the distress of another.
Pope John Paul II views Mary’s kindness as a continued concern for all Christians. “Just as Mary interceded on behalf of the couple at Cana, so she continues to bring our needs before her son. The wedding of Cana is an example of Mary’s concern for human beings. She sees our needs and takes them to Jesus for help.
The Wedding Feast at Cana helps us to see the importance of faith. Up to this point Jesus had never performed a miracle. But Mary had faith in Jesus. She had faith in his supernatural power and truly believed that he could help.
With regard to changing the water into wine, Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever Jesus tells you.” The lesson here for you and I is about trust. Jesus asked the servants to do something very strange. After all, the jars the jars that Jesus asked them to fill with water were for hand washing and cleaning of utensils, not for wine.
There was great trepidation as the servants watched Jesus drink the wine out of the jars. There was great surprise when they witnessed his joyful response.
That is how we feel when we have to trust in God. We have to trust in something we cannot comprehend or understand. We feel trepidation, fear, and nervousness. Then when what we pray for, or what we ask for, or when something miraculous in our lives comes about, we are surprised and joyful.
“Do whatever he tells you,” has meaning for you and I today. Trust without hesitation, especially when one does not fully understand the meaning or benefit of what Christ asks.
If you are like me, you have heard the Holy Spirit telling you that you need to do something. You can feel it right in your gut. The Holy Spirit is telling you to do something that you know you need to do but you are afraid and well, it is just easier not to do it. Only you can determine those callings from the Holy Spirit. For me, one example was becoming a priest. Not wanting to do it but trusting in God and having faith that it was the right thing to do.
So, have faith like the servants. Trust Christ’s will for our lives…that nagging of the Holy Spirit inside of us. Try to do whatever that spirit is telling you to do even when the pathway may be unclear or the outcome uncertain (605 Words).
First Reading - Isaiah 62:1-5
For Zion's sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, Until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch. Nations shall behold your vindication, and all kings your glory; You shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the LORD. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD, a royal diadem held by your God. No more shall men call you "Forsaken," or your land "Desolate," But you shall be called "My Delight," and your land "Espoused." For the LORD delights in you, and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.
Second Reading - 1 Cor 12:4-11
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Gospel - John 2: 1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."(And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. After this, he and his mother, (his) brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed there only a few days.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Rosary: Next rosary will be prayed after Mass February 7, 2010. We will pray for all of our benefactors who have contributed to our heating fuel fund. All are welcome to join us.
Confirmation: Letters to the Archbishop need to be completed by the end of January 2010. The Archbishop requests that all those wanting to be confirmed, Teens and Adults alike, should write a letter stating why you want to be confirmed into our Catholic faith.
Christmas decorations: We will be taking down the Christmas decorations after Mass this weekend. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Gospel: Baptism is an elaborate sacrament. It is make us realize how pleasing we are in God's eyes. It is about being sure that we recognize our dignity. Here is a homily I put together for our Mass this coming weekend:
Baptism of the Lord, Year C, 2010, DLG, Isaiah 40: 1-5&9-11; Timothy 2: 11-14 & 3:4-7; Luke 3:15-16&21-22
The Sacraments are set up so they increasingly get tougher to receive. For example, baptism has a very low bar. It is easy to jump over. The rest of the sacraments get progressively harder to receive. In other words the bar is a little higher.
The most difficult question one has to answer when baptizing an infant is this, “You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him or her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him or her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?
The great thing about baptism is that it is the most ecumenical sacrament we have. In other words, if another Christian wants to become Catholic, like a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., and they are already baptized, they do not have to become re-baptized.
Generally speaking, the sacrament of baptism unites almost all the worlds Christians in Christ Jesus.
The Catholic rite of baptism underlines the dignity of the adult or child being initiated into the life of Christ. Here is how that dignity is underlined.
When baptizing an infant, the parents are asked what name the child is given. There is a meaning for every name. The name is often a revelation as to the child’s personality.
The parents and sponsors understand their responsibilities in preparing the child in the faith and are prepared to be Christian role models for that child.
The baptism is done at the back of the church. We do this because it signifies entering the church and becoming a member. Baptism is the first formal time that we receive a child into the place where the church gathers.
We invoke the saints for the child. We remember that the child has patron saints who are praying with all of us right now in heaven, and we call on them by name.
We ask that all evil be kept from the child. As we anoint the child’s breastbone, we ask that the child’s heart be united in love for God, self, and neighbor. W bless the font, profess our common faith, and then immerse the child into the life-giving and saving bath of baptism.
The white vestment a newly child wears is a physical reminder that they have just put on the life of Christ.
The child is anointed with the churches most holiest of oil and are welcomed into the royal family of Christ, the school of prophets, and the priesthood of all believers.
The parents/sponsors are presented with the light of Christ. We ask that the child’s ears will hear the word of God and that their mouth will proclaim it.
Baptism is elaborate because it helps you to realize that you are loved by God, that your true identity is in God, and that you are pleasing to God. Baptism reminds us of our dignity. This is dignity!
Who would like this $20 bill? He proceeded to crumple the bill up, he then asked, who still wants it? Still the hands were up in the air. He dropped it on the ground, and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. Now, who wants it? My friends, you have learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it, because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel that we are worthless, but, no matter what has happened or will happen, you will never lose your value (dignity), dirty or clean, crumpled of finely creased, you are still priceless to God and those who love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know but by who we are. You are special. Don’t ever forget it (678 Words).
Here are the readings for the "Baptism of the Lord" Sunday Mass.
Isaiah 40: 1-5&9-11 - Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
Timothy 2: 11-14 & 3:4-7 - A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God? He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil's punishment. He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the devil's trap.
Luke 3:15-16&21-22 - Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Have a fantastic week...Fr. Scott