Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:
Gospel: At Baptism we receive a spiritual thumbprint right in the center of our foreheads. (Please see Homily and readings below)
Ordinary Time: The Baptism of the Lord last Sunday kicked off Ordinary Time. There are nine Sundays of Ordinary Time from now until Ash Wednesday.
Around the Mission: After having Tucker Aviation (Dave) repair a leak in my fuel system, I was able to fly our Cherokee Warrior II about six hours this last week. For practice and to check out the maintenance on the fuel system, I flew from Dillingham, to Kokiganek, New Stuyahok, Manokotak, and back. I flew to Clarks Point and King Salmon/Naknek for Mass. To King Salmon and back, a total of 128 air miles, I burned 13.5 gallons of 100LL. At 6 dollars per gallon, that comes to $81. The going seat fair Round Trip to King salmon is about $250.
Here is a picture I took on my way to Clarks Point, via Portage Creek, Friday, Jan 7, 2011. It was a very beautiful morning.
New Years: During New Years Day I was supposed to be at Saint Theresa in King Salmon for Mass but the weather was too bad for me to fly myself and Penair was shut down for the holiday. Parishioners at King Salmon/Naknek put a sign on the front door of Saint Theresa:
Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott
2nd Ord DLG 2011, Is 49:3&5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; John 1:29-34
There are four important elements in our world. They are water, air, fire, and earth. God takes these four elements and makes them full of saving power. For example, water used in baptism represents life. Water nourishes crops, supplies us with seafood, refreshes us, and gives us recreation.
From the earth come animals. Saint John refers to earthly images, birds and animals, to refer to the saving power God has sent us. For example a dove is used for the Holy Spirit and Jesus for the Lamb of God.
Out of all these elements, water is the most important. It is used for the sacrament of Baptism.
If you were baptized as an infant, like I was, you don’t remember what happened. What happened to Jesus more or less happened to us. John, in today’s gospel accounts that, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.”
Marks gospel says, “A voice came from the heavens, you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." After Jesus was baptized, he baptized us with the Holy Spirit. It was then that God identified us as his adopted Children.
When God adopts us, it is like he puts his thumbprint right in the middle of our foreheads. He marks us his own.
At Baptism we receive the of the Holy Spirit. God marks us for life. That mark means help, protection, and guidance to all of us who believe.
Unlike Jesus, who is human and divine, we are mere humans. Through our words and deeds, we can smudge our spiritual thumbprint or blur our special relationship with God.
Blurring our adopted relationship happens through things like indifference, swearing, jealousy, impatience, and selfishness…we all sin.
But when our thumbprints get smudged, God helps us to clean them. We are not thrown to the wolves. Our Lord will never abandon us. He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us.
The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in goodness through the moral virtues. Prudence helps us to choose the true good. Justice challenges us to be fair to our neighbors. Fortitude strengthens us so we can overcome our fears. Temperance assists us in finding balance and helps us to moderate when using earthly goods.
Isaiah tells us, “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
As God’s adopted children, we are not just God’s servants…that is too little says Isaiah. We are that light, which can reach out to all people to the ends of the earth.
Each time we seize an opportunity to reach out to people, our spiritual thumbprint gets a cleaner. It gets cleaner when we apologize to someone we have hurt. It gets cleaner when we help our next-door neighbor with a problem. It gets cleaner when we visit a sick person in the hospital.
When you get home, take a look in the mirror. Think about that special covenant God made with you at the time of your baptism…that unique thumbprint stamped right in the middle of your forehead. How clean is that thumbprint stamped on your forehead? If it is smudged, what can you do to clean it (541 Words)?
You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel." John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.' Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."