Monday, August 30, 2010

Announcements: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Alaska Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Thank you: Thank you to Diana Swaim for ensuring that the Church was secured after Mass while I was gone. The cost of heating and lighting the church is very high if utilities are left on during the week. Thank you for helping us reduce cost and conserve electricity.

Visitor: Father Tom Lilly, pastor of the largest parish in Anchorage, will be visiting our Mission starting Thursday, September 9th. He will stay through the weekend and return on the evening Penair flight on Tuesday, September 14. Father Tom and I attended the seminary together and were ordained on the same day (May 24, 2003).

Facebook page: For those of you who use Facebook, Holy Rosary Alaska now has its own page. This page will be used as a means of communication among people living in the mission and the Archdiocese of Anchorage. We can post pictures, videos, etc. Fr. Clem will also help to administer the page. To keep in touch, go to Facebook and type in Holy Rosary Alaska. When the page comes up, click on the LIKE button at the very top of the page. By clicking on the like button you will be a member of that page and receive updates whenever something is added to the page.

Gospel: What is the cost of Christian life? A big part of the price is “carrying our cross.” Please see the below homily.

Baptism: September 12, during Mass, seven year old Blake will be baptized at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Please plan for a reception after Mass on that Sunday (the Sunday after next).

First Communion: We have started a class to help those children in our parish prepare for First Communion. PLEASE MARK YOU CALENDARS. The actual ceremony will be May 22, 2011. We will be preparing periodically after mass.

Hats: If you would like to purchase a hat, please let me know. I have a couple dozen on order. Here are some pictures. Click on them to make them larger.

Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

HOMILY: The Cost of the Cross

23 Ord C DLG 2010 Cost of the Cross, Wisdom 9:13-18; Philemon 9-10&12-17; Luke 14:25-33

We are not able to anticipate the full cost of Christian life. There are usually some hidden costs that we cannot anticipate. But we know for a fact that part of that cost of living as a Christian involves carrying a cross.

What exactly does it mean “to carry your cross?” Padre Pio said, “You must try to continually overcome yourself in those daily struggles that the Lord presents to you."

Every person here today carries a cross. And that cross involves the day to day struggles we go through. The cost is suffering. But there is a pay off. Through suffering comes love. Suffering brings you closer to God.

The cost of carrying your cross is acknowledging you are not in control of your life. You chose to die to self and live for Christ. It involves putting your trust in God and letting Him take over.

Here is an example: Let's say you can't stand this one person at work. You have the opportunity to complain about this person all the time or you can simply smile whenever you see them. You can even pray for them. You can take this hardship and turn it into a wonderful thing. You can let it transform your soul.

The best way to get a sense of suffering is through prayer, especially through the Rosary. Through the Rosary our blessed Mother will help us understand the suffering her son went through. She will grant us the graces to get through each day if we ask.

St. Monica is a wonderful example. She prayed for YEARS for her son (St. Augustine) to come back to the Catholic Faith. That must've caused great suffering, impatience, but she didn't give up. And now look at St. Augustine! He's a pretty well known Saint!

The reading from Philemon gives us an example of the cost of carrying a cross. Philemon is a Christian. His slave ran to Paul for help. Paul sent him back to Philemon saying, “Philemon, you are a Christian. You can not treat your slave like a slave anymore. Treat him like a brother. Thus, the cost of Christian life for Philemon was the loss of a slave.

In the Gospel, Jesus does not want us to actually hate our mother, father, wife, children, brothers, and sisters to be a disciple.

Jesus is using a technique to help us see the importance of preparation…preparation to face the cost of following Jesus. But he does command that we carry our own cross. He says, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

When we carry our cross prayer helps us but there is more help. Wisdom tells us that we can, “call on the holy spirit from on high.”

The Holy Spirit guides us through the cost of Christian life and helps make our paths straight so it is easier to carry those burdensome crosses.

The cost of Christian life may seem high, but as Saint Augustine says, “God never asks us to face anything that we cannot cope with.” There is no temptation that we cannot resist.

Our problems and situations may seem too much for us to handle, but God would never give us anything that we couldn't deal with. It might be possible that we need help. Maybe from a friend...someone that can pray for us, give advice, just to help ease the burden.

So, today let us remember, even celebrate, the cost of Christian Life. Pick up your cross, and walk (589 Words).

Wisdom 9:13-18 – For what man knows God's counsel, or who can conceive what our LORD intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight, and men learned what was your pleasure, and were saved by Wisdom.

Philemon 9-10&12-17 – I rather urge you out of love, being as I am, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus. I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment, I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel, but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary. Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.

Luke 14:25-33 – Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish. Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

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