Monday, December 13, 2010

Announcements: 4th Week of Advent Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

CONGRATS: Congratulations to George and Ruth Barnard who celebrated a con-validation of their marriage Sunday December 12, 2010. There civil marriage was on December 9th sixteen years ago.

CHRISTMAS EVE MASS: Mass will be at 7:30 Christmas eve, December 24th. There will be no Mass on Christmas day.

CHRISTMAS DECORATING: If possible, please stay after Mass this Sunday and help us decorate for Christmas. Your donations of time will be greatly appreciated.

CHRISTMAS TREE: Our Christmas tree is being donated by Cindy, who won it in a raffle from Ducks Unlimited. Thank you so much Cindy!

CHRISTMAS PLAY Rehearsal This Sunday: Here are the parts for the Christmas Narrative that will be during Mass on Christmas Eve.

Mary: Annalee C.
Joseph: Jacob B.
Wiseman: Alethia B., Madeson S., Satie T.
Angels: Katelyn S., Skylar T
King Herod: Logan Ho
Shepherds: Kenzie J., Karis W.
Inn Keepers: Whitney W., Reyna T.

Please contact Bernina Venua for more information (907-843-12750. The first rehearsal will be after Mass, December 19 (this Sunday). There is room for two more children if they would like to volunteer to help out. No memorization of parts is needed. (SEE THE NATIVITY NARRATIVE BELOW)

GOSPEL: The Gospel is the beautiful story about the Annunciation and the plight that Joseph was faced with. Below is the gospel in my own words.

LECTOR BOOKS: New lector books for 2011 have been ordered and should be here this week.

KENMORE RANGE: The new Kenmore self-cleaning electric cooking range should be shipped this week on Evert’s Air Cargo. The cost was $404 for the 30” range and about $150 to $200 for shipping.

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

HOMILY: 4th Week of Advent, Year A, 2010, Gospel in my words

In our Catholic Christian tradition, we have a story. We have a true story about how our lord and savior came into the world.

Marriage was a bit different 2000 years ago. People back then took engagement very seriously. Engagement was like being married. Mary and Joseph were betrothed to each other.

Betrothed means that a formal contract of marriage had been made between two people and then blessed by the church. To be betrothed is similar to what we think marriage is except for one thing: Mary and Joseph had a waiting period before they could actually live together and start having children.

So, although betrothed, or married, they could not live together. During this waiting period something happened…of all the bad luck.

God decided to stir up their lives. God sent down the Holy Spirit to impregnate Mary, which is know as the annunciation. The lives of Mary and Joseph would never be the same.

It was not a pretty sight. Joseph’s true colors showed when he heard of Mary’s pregnancy. He did not believe Mary at first. Joseph thought that she had another boy friend.

But, being the solid, caring, religious man that he was, he did not want to shame Mary. Even though he thought Mary was not telling the truth about how she became pregnant, he kept things very quiet. He did not want to humiliate her. He loved her that much.

But the real problems came about after people found out. The members of the community began to shun Mary.

In the mean time, an angel appeared to Joseph. The angel basically told Joseph that, “I know it’s a little hard to believe, and it has never happened in the history of the planet, but your wife Mary has conceived threw the Holy Spirit. In her womb is the Savior of our world.”

He told Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife. He also said to name the baby Jesus. “Jesus,” the angel said, “Will save us from our sins.”

Keep in mind that in the days before Jesus, most everyone knew the Old Testament inside and out. Before the angel of God left, he told Joseph something very interesting. The angel asked Joseph to recall an Old Testament scripture from Isaiah. Isaiah said, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

It finally downed on Joseph the huge responsibility before him. He had encountered God. He trusted God so much that all other considerations were put aside. He listened to God and made the right decision, even though it was a difficult one.

For Joseph, his faith finally came through very strongly. He was compassionate and he did not condemn harshly. He followed the law of God. He had the moral courage to seek to do the right thing, even though it is not necessarily the Law of Man. He was able to discern the right path forward by listening to what God wanted. The End…which is really the Beginning (515 Words).

Isaiah 7:10-14
Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:18-24
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Nativity Story

About two thousand years ago, in the town of Nazareth, there lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. One day an angel appeared before her and told her she had been chosen to nave a special baby. The baby would be God's son and she must call him Jesus.

Soon after the angel's visit, Mary and Joseph were married. Mary was due to have her baby when they were told they had to go on a long journey to Bethlehem, which was where Joseph came from. his was because they had to pay a special tax. Mary had to ride on a donkey for a few days over the hills of Gallilee.

At last Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. It was crowded with other people who needed to pay their taxes. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them. Eventually, one kind innkeeper said he had a stable where he kept his animals. They were welcome to stay there.
And so it was that a few hours later, Mary gave birth to her son in that stable. She wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger full of hay.

At the same time, on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky. They were very afraid. It was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be afraid, because he had some good news. He said the Son of God had been born and they would find Him in Bethlehem.

The shepherds wanted to go and see the baby. When they arrived at the stable, they were filled with joy at seeing Jesus lying in the manger. They knelt down and worshipped Him. They told Mary and Joseph how the angel had appeared in the sky and told them that Jesus was to be the Savior of the world.

Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high in the sky. These men studied the stars and they knew this was a very special star. They studied their scrolls where it said that whenever a bright new star appeared it meant that a great ruler had been born.

The Wise Men decided to find this new ruler. They went to Jerusalem to see King Herod, as they thought the baby would be in the palace. They asked to see the child that would be King of the Jews. The king was troubled. He thought this new king may take away his throne. He told them to return when they had found the baby so that he could worship the child himself.

The Wise Men set off to find the baby. They were guided by the star to the stable in Bethlehem. Here they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. That night, the men had the same dream where an angel warned them that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and told them not to go back to his palace.

The Wise Men went back to their own country without calling to see Herod. Soon after Joseph had a dream where an angel told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt as King Herod had ordered that Jesus be killed. They left Bethlehem right away so they did not find Jesus as he was safe.

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