Monday, October 25, 2010

Announcements: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Gospel: Zacchaeus, a man short in stature, climbed a tree to see Jesus. Please see the homily and readings below.

Nativity Play: This year during Mass at Christmas, Holy Rosary will have a Children’s Nativity play. Three people at Holy Rosary have volunteered to organize it. If you would like to be a part of this, please talk with Angie Venua, Bernina Venua, or Diana Swaim.

Calendars: The Catholic Extension 2011 Stewardship calendars this year have a picture of the mountains behind Dillingham, Alaska. I have ordered about 50 of these calendars and will offer them to the people in our mission. The front of these calendars list the Mass times and villages served in our mission. They will be available in a few weeks.

Villages served this Week: Tuesday of this week I was trying to fly to Ugashik and Pilot Point but had to turn around in Egegik because the fog closed in on me. I flew to Clarks Point on Friday, King Salmon/Naknek on Saturday, and back to Dillingham on Sunday.

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

31 Ord C DLG 2007 Rich Official vs. Zacc, Wis 11:22—12:2; 2 Thess 1:11—2:2; Luke 19:1-10

The tax collector in the gospel, is short in stature. He reminds me a little of our own Pat Durbin.

I would like to compare and contrast two gospel stories. They are stories about rich people. They are stories about people like you and I.

One story is about a rich official (Luke 18: 18-23). He asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal. Life?” “Keep the commandments,” said Jesus. “I have,” said the Rich Official. Then Jesus had said, “Sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” The rich official balked…he could not do it. He went away sad.

One chapter later, is today’s gospel, Luke 19:1-10…The story of Zacchaeus climbing up the tree.

Rich Young Man and Zacchaeus
Both are very wealthy…have lots of money
Both looking for more in life
Money has not brought them happiness/Peace

Differences (Rich Official)
Kept commandments from his youth
Considered a Son of Abraham
Responds with Sadness to sell and give to poor
Wealth more important than following Jesus
Did not answer the call from Jesus
Result: Chose wealth over God
Result: Cannot find happiness and peace
Result: Did not realize faith in God was better
Result: Cannot experience fullness of God’s love
Result: Chose not to change while visiting Jesus

Differences (Zacchaeus: The Tax collector)
Extorted taxes, outcast, hated by many
Not considered a son of Abraham
Was not a very religious person
Responds with joy to give to the poor
Following Jesus more important than wealth
Answered the call from Jesus
Result: Choose God over money
Result: Found happiness and peace
Result: Realized faith in God was better
Result: Can experience the fullness of God’s love
Result: Chose to change while visiting Jesus

Here are a few of my conclusions:

No matter what you have done in the past or who you are today, you can change for the better.

Jesus welcomes everyone, not just those who have been raised in the Church.

Every single person on earth has a chance at eternal life, happiness, and peace.

Choosing Christ is an everyday decision.

We all have something we need to change in our lives that will make us better Christians.

This week, like little Zacchaeus, I want all of you to make a change for the better. If Jesus were to come to your house today, what would you change (410 Words)?

Wisdom 11:22—12:2
Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things! Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them, and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2
To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Luke 19:1-10
He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Announcements:L 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Congratulations: Congrats to Pat Shryock from Naknek, Alaska. The 16 year old flew solo in their Cessna 172, Thursday, October 14, 2010, at South Naknek. Pat actually flew solo in the airplane before receiving his drivers license. After Mass Sunday I asked the young aviator about his first solo flight. The young Pat said, “I was REALLY excited.”

Gospel: The Gospel this week asks us to ground ourselves. Grounding makes us humble. The arrogant Pharisees need to be grounded. (Please see homily and readings below).

Potluck: The potluck will be Sunday, October 31, not Sunday October 24. Please bring your favorite dish and join in a good time after Mass, downstairs, at Holy Rosary Parish.

Confirmation: If you know of anyone between the ages of 10 and 100, who are baptized Catholic yet have not been confirmed, please let me know.

First Communion: A first communion celebration will be Sunday, May 22, 2010. If you know any children who are six or seven years old and have not had First Communion, please let me know.

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

HOMILY: 30Ord C DLG, 2010, Grounded, Sir35:12-14,16-18;2Tim4:6-8,16-18;Lk18:9-14

Have you ever been grounded as a child? It’s not fun…no phone, no internet, can’t drive the car, can’t go out with your friends…etc. A teenager is basically shut down from the most important thing in their life at the time…friends and socializing.

We are grounded for a reason. The reason is, we start to act like the Pharisee does in the gospel. Being grounded equates to doing something that is a bit out of the ordinary. Doing something that is not good, such as being reckless, immature, or immoral. In the Pharisees case, he was arrogant. The Pharisee needed to be grounded.

The Pharisee was a successful person but he let it go to his head. He made himself feel important by putting others down. In prayer, he reminded God just how great he was compared to others. He trusts too much in himself and very little in God.

In football, intentional grounding is when the quarterback goes back to through a pass, can’t find a receiver, and throws the ball into the ground. A well grounded person is someone who has a firm foundation. A pilot who has poor vision can be grounded, meaning they cannot fly anymore.

Believe it our not, grounding means to be humble. From Humility comes the Latin word humas, meaning “close to the earth.”

For example, the tax collector in the gospel lived close to the earth. As a result, he was open to conversion and being lifted up by God. The Pharisee was far from the ground. He was so far from the earth that he was closed of from conversion. He had an attitude sickness from taking the high moral ground.

Most of us find ourselves somewhere between the grounded tax collector and the highflying Pharisee. Being humble is the best way to be. Here is what being humble means:

A humble person does not think he or she is better than someone else. A humble person does not try to look better than someone by putting others down. A humble person honors others by sharing their gifts. This enables others people to benefit from the goodness of God.

The best way to ensure that we remain humble is to be grounded in reality like the tax collector. Here is how to do that.

Be open to people in your life who make demands on you. They might be economically disadvantaged, disabled, elderly, or sick. It is not necessarily easy to be with them, but that is the point.

Our response to these friends makes us grounded, draws out gifts we sometimes did not even know we had. At the very least, our response to these friends reminds us how grateful we should be for the gifts we have received. Others can tell a lot about us by the company we keep, and the people we shun.

I went to fill up our Cherokee Warrior II with 100LL at ACS in Dillingham this week. I started to fill the tank and stopped. I forgot to ground the plane first.

Don’t forget to ground yourselves before every week. The Body and Blood of Christ does just that. As you come forward for communion today think of how the Eucharist will help humble us so we can use our gifts and talents to help others.

By remaining humble, we can expect to be filled with life and life abundantly. So, here is a direct order…you are all grounded for life (577 Words).

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18;
For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18;
For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Luke 18:9-14
He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Annoucements: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Gospel: The readings this Sunday are about being persistent. Be persistent not only in bettering yourself, but also in prayer. Please see the homily and readings below.

Potluck: The next potluck after Mass will be October 31, the last Sunday of the month. All are invited and welcome to stay after Mass for fellowship and food. Bring your favorite dish if you can.

Flying: Last week I was able to fly to Clarks Point, Igiugig, and King Salmon. I was also in Anchorage for three days.

Here are a couple pictures from may flight to Clarks Point this week. Fall is certainly here.

New Missal: I have some great information about the new missal.

Here is the first of several lesions about the new Roman Missal, which will be used next year for Advent, i.e. 2011

New Roman Missal Information:

Lesson 1 – The new Roman Missal will have biblical roots

 The texts will express more clearly why we pray, why we hope, and how we present ourselves to God
 This will create a greater connection of the Missal to the Lectionary
 The prayers will express more nuances of meaning, reflecting a more extensive meaning and depth of the original Latin texts
 The style will be more formal than ordinary conversation
 The new translation will add a freshness to the sound of the Missal while avoiding needless repetition of well-worn words
 This translation brings us into closer alignment with other languages translation (French, German, Spanish, etc.) throughout the world.

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

Homily, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Persistence, Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14—4:2; Luke 18:1-8

When I was looking for part time work during High School, I took some advice from my next-door neighbor, Buck Dyer. He said, “Scott, if you want to get a job, you have to be persistent.” So, I set my sights high…a box boy at Wagner’s Grocery Store. Then I made a plan. First, I learned that the manager’s name was Ron Lakey. Next, I visited Wagner’s everyday. I would walk right up to Mr. Laky’s office, knock on the door, and ask for a job. The fifth time Mr. Laky said, “Well Scott, I can see that I am not going to get rid of you, so…I might as well hire you.” I was overwhelmed with joy. I never gave Mr. Laky a reason to regret his decision to hire me. Persistence pays.

In the Gospel, the old widow was persistent, and it paid. She believed strongly about getting a just decision. After a while, the widow’s determination moved the corrupt judge to say, “Lady, I shall deliver a just decision for you, lest you finally come and strike me.”

In the first reading, when Moses raised his hands in the air, the Israelites fought better. When he lowered them, Amalek got the better of the fight.

So Moses had to be persistent in keeping his hands up. Ever held your hands up for any length of time…they get really tired. So, what happened? Moses’ arms began to get tired. Some of his warriors kept propping them back up again. The warriors saw Moses’ risen hands as a sign of never ending prayer to God. That motivated them to win the battle. Once again, persistence pays.

Jesus wants us to be persistent in prayer. What counts is not the length or quality of our prayer. What counts is that we are persistent. Start out small with maybe one Hail Mary or one our Father…but say it everyday. Then let God help you expand at your own pace. The result: Prayer keeps us centered on Christ and brings peace to our chaotic lives.

Mr. Laky put his trust in me and hired me at the grocery store because I was persistent. When we are unrelenting and determined like that old widow, even a corrupt judge may learn to trust us and take our good advice.

Normally, being persistent applies when we want to excel in school sports, get good grades, or land that perfect Job.

But it also applies to our spiritual lives. Jesus begs us to be persistent in our spiritual lives. For example, persistence in pursuing fairness will bring about justice. In struggling with our sins, persistence enables us to become holier people.

Persistence in praying to God does not necessarily change God. It changes us! Some think that prayer changes God’s mind; he then intervenes, and makes something good happen. That might be true, but here is a spiritually healthier way to think.

Persistence in prayer changes us. Prayer such as Fasting, abstinence, pilgrimages, and retreats change us. They make us more open to what God is really trying to tell us. We can then work with God to make good things happen.

So, keep those arms elevated in prayer. Then, take it from the Old Widow…be persistence, it pays (543 Words)!

Exodus 17:8-13 - At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand." So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

2 Timothy 3:14—4:2 - But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Luke 18:1-8 - Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Announcements: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Prayers: Please keep the Belleque family in your prayers. Johanna’s mom died Friday, October 1st in Koliganek, Alaska.

Gospel: The gospel is about getting second chances in our lives. Please see readings and homily below.

Anchorage Visit: I will be going to Anchorage this Tuesday through Thursday to participate in the pastoral day (learn about the New Missal) and to train in the canon law tribunal.

Thank you: Thank you to Katelyn Swaim (daughter of Michael and Diana) for making and coloring the North Star for the Christmas Eve Homily. At that time the children will be helping put together a Nativity puzzle.

Gray Water Problem: We are still waiting for the metal to arrive on the barge so Osborn tanks can make the 1000 gallon tank for our Gray water drainage. We plan to make the tank with holes in it and Jackson McCormick is going to make a drain system for the tank.

Have a blessed week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott

28 Ord C DLG 2010, Metanoia, 2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19

In the gospel, the story of the one leper who returned is about second chances. If it is God’s will that you be cured you get a second chance.

Second chances in life are numerous. We are always getting second chances. I have had so many second chances I have lost track of them all.

The second chances that counted most to me were the second chances at life. I could have died several times in my life but was given a second chance.

When I was about seven years old, I almost drowned in a swimming pool. I got in over my head and couldn’t swim. An old lady about 79 years old, saw me struggling for air, waded over to me, and pulled me out.

A couple years later, after I learned how swim, I was swimming in the river…my dad’s Labrador Spike wanted to play. He swam out to me and started jumping on top of me.

Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks I rolled my friends Jeep near Nenana. We hit a snowdrift. We rolled four times and landed upside down. It was 40 below zero outside. I got a second chance.

We have all dealt with life and death. The lepers were in that same situation…they were all cured…they all had a second chance at life.

What become important to them after they were cured? Starting a new life believing in Christ or The lepers could have started a whole new life believing in Christ, or getting back to the life the way it was.

Ultimately, the story of the leper is about seizing or not seizing second chances. How do you react when you have a scare in life? How do you react when it turns out OK? Getting a second chance to nine of the lepers meant going back to the same old way of life. Sure, they were happy at first. Sure they were grateful for a little while…but how soon they forgot.

Only one came back to show his gratitude. Only the Samaritan came back. Only the Samaritan wanted to start a new and better life following Jesus. Only the one Samaritan leper seized the second chance.

The second chance for the Leper launched a new insight…a deep praise for God…a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus will sustain this grateful man for the rest of his life.

In the first reading from Kings, God gave Naaman a second chance. It changed his life.

After being cleaned of leprosy, Naaman said to the prophet Elisha, “I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord.”

For you and I, second chances don’t have to come from life and death situations.

We may get a second chance to repair a hurt relationship. We might get a second chance to give back something we took that was not ours. We may get a second chance to tell the truth to someone we lied to. Take that that second chance.

Like the one leper, when we take that second chance we experience Metanoia. Metanoia is a Greek word meaning: conversion and the continual life of inner change and growth. The next time you get a second chance…seize it. Experience Metanoia. Grow closer to Jesus because of it, be grateful to God for it, and enliven the Holy Spirit to help you (561 Words).

2 Kings 5:14-17 - So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant." "As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it," Elisha replied; and despite Naaman's urging, he still refused. Naaman said: "If you will not accept, please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth, for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the LORD.

2 Timothy 2:8-13 - Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Luke 17:11-19 - As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met (him). They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."