Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Potluck: Next Potluck will be May 29, 2011, when the Archbishop visits.
Confirmation: We have five candidates for confirmation for Holy Rosary (one adult and four below the age of 16) and one for Saint Theresa (age 11). They have all written letters to the Archbishop telling why they want to be confirmed. Further requirements are five hours of community service, 3-5 hours of catechism (review of the Mass, our Creed, and Catholic terminology/posture), and two paragraphs on one of the fruits or gifts of the Holy Spirit. Please keep Johanna, Anthony, Brian, Walter, Joshua, and Daniel in your prayers.
Gospel: Jesus heals the man born blind (Please see Homily and readings below).
Mount Angel Seminary: I will be traveling this week to Oregon. Mount Angel is having it’s yearly alumni gathering for continuing education.
Around the Mission: Our Cherokee is still awaiting parts in King Salmon. It should be back in the air next week. Mass was celebrated in Clarks Point, King Salmon/Naknek, and Dillingham last week.
Have a wonderful week…Fr. Scott
Homily and Readings 4th Lent Sun Year A DLG 2011 Dark-Light1Sam16:1- 13;Eph5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41
The Man Born Blind went from physical darkness to being able to see. He had never seen light, the beauty of nature, or human faces. He was ignored. In those days people believed that deformities and sickness were a direct result of sin. Jesus noticed the blind man and paid attention to him. Jesus brought him from darkness into the light.
The Gospel of the man born blind is a step-by-step example of how to grow in faith. Through meeting with his neighbors, friends, relatives, and Jesus, he grew in faith. He was finally able to say that yes, Jesus is Lord. He went from dark into light.
Saint Paul says, “You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Similar to my story, the blind man’s eyes opened because he slowly grew in faith through contact with people, confusion, and struggle. He went from darkness into the light spiritually. Many of us have probably experienced something similar.
Dark and light is a constant theme in our daily lives. Dark and light are like: sin and forgiveness; suffering and being healed; Cross-and-Resurrection.
At birth, we physically come from darkness into light. We go from darkness to light during Conversion. Going from Darkness into light may be as simple as having a change of heart. Here in Alaska we go from dark winters to light summers. Each transition gives us opportunities to grow in faith and holiness. Each is about salvation.
In Acts, St. Paul says to the jailer, “believe in the Lord Jesus and your household will be saved.” Then the jailer’s family was baptized.”
Baptism is coming from darkness into the light. We are all born into darkness; what gives us life is Baptism.
We were once blind. The Lord gave us light when we were baptized. About Baptism, Saint Augustine says, “The light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith.”
Being confirmed into the Catholic Church is another faith step. It is another transitional step that brings us closer to the light. It makes us shine brighter. It enables us to use the Holy Spirit to help evangelize others…to help bring peace to our lives…to help us to see clearly God’s plans for us.
Today after Eucharist, as we go forth to our families, neighborhoods, and places of work, let’s seek out Jesus. Let’s notice people in need and help bring them from darkness into light.
The fasting, prayer, and almsgiving during Lent are designed to help us uncover the darkness that we hadn’t noticed creeping into our lives. Let Easter be a time when you take another faith step and shine just a little brighter (450 Words).
1 Samuel 16:1-13 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you." Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" He said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen any of these." Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
Ephesians 5:8-14 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light- or the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
John 9:1-41 As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, "Go wash in the Pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see. His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, "Isn't this the one who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is," but others said, "No, he just looks like him." He said, "I am." So they said to him, "(So) how were your eyes opened?" He replied, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went there and washed and was able to see." And they said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know." They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see." So some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath." (But) others said, "How can a sinful man do such signs?" And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, "What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?" His parents answered and said, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for him self." His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; question him." So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner." He replied, "If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." So they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" They ridiculed him and said, "You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from." The man answered and said to them, "This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything." They answered and said to him, "You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?" Then they threw him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Gospel: Jesus, in the Gospel about "The Woman at the Well" asks her to choose the living water. Please see homily and readings below.
Confirmation and First Communion: The Archbishop will be here the 29th of May to celebrate the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. Those to be confirmed will be Johanna Belleque, Joshua Ingram, Brian Venua, Walter Reynolds, and Anthony Reynolds. To all Sponsors, please be present next week for the first Scrutiny.
Around the Mission: Our Cherokee Warrior is still waiting parts in King Salmon. It will hopefully be flyable sometime this week.
Easter Sunday: Bernina Venua is preparing for a children's Easter egg hunt after Mass on Easter Sunday. Easter Mass this year will not be on Saturday eve, but on Easter Sunday at 10:00 AM.
Have a wonderful week and see you Sunday! Fr. Scott
Homily and Readings:
3rd Lent Sun A DLG 2011, Ex 17:3-7; Rom 5:1-2&5-8; John 4: 5-42
Have you ever been dying of thirst? I have. I can remember one time when my dad and I were out hunting and we got lost in the woods. Every one of us has probably been dying of thirst at least once in our lives?
Even the Israelites in the reading for Exodus, God’s chosen people, thirsted for water in the desert. No one is exempt form becoming thirsty.
The word thirst can be used when we have a craving for anything. We thirst for the newest and fastest car, computer, or snow machine. We thirst for approval, prestige, and status. We thirst for comfort, pleasure, and gratification.
The woman at the well thirsted. She thirsted for water. But she also thirsted for something else. She thirsted for understanding. She thirsted for insight. She thirsted of knowledge. She thirsted for truth…and Jesus quenched that thirst.
Jesus offered the Samaritan women a different way to quench her thirst. He offered her living water.
About Living Water, the theologian Hans von Balthasar says this, “Earthly water again makes thirsty, but to those who believe, Jesus' water quenches thirst forever.”
Saint Ignatius of Antioch says, “There is no thirsting in me for any earthly thing. Rather within me is the living water, which says deep inside me: "Come to the Father. I want only God's bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and for drink, I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.”
The Samaritan Woman at the Well knew the quality of water at Jacobs well. Her thirst will be quenched, but only for a short period of time. Sound familiar? Earthly possessions, shopping sprees, Drugs, and alcohol will only quench our thirst for a brief time.
But Jesus is making her choose between the well water and another kind of water and living water. She is very curious about the living water. Jesus makes her choose between the two.
The water Jesus offers is a long-term plan for the salvation of her the woman’s soul. The water from Jesus will quench her spiritual thirst forever. It will give her eternal life. The Woman made a choice. She chose Christ, the living water.
Those being confirmed this May have a similar choice. They can choose the well water or the water Jesus has to offer.
We have all chosen the water Jesus offers or we wouldn’t be here right now. But have we chosen Christ everyday or just on Sundays? How do you handle temptation and peer pressure. Are you able to acknowledge your sins? Are you able to recognize the grace being offered you? Are you able to choose correctly between the well water and the living water? My advice, choose the living water everyday. It will quench your thirst forever (477 Words)?
Ex 17:3-7 - Here, then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?" So Moses cried out to the LORD, "What shall I do with this people? A little more and they will stone me!" The LORD answered Moses, "Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink." This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD in our midst or not?"
Rom 5:1-2&5-8 - Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access (by faith) to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
John 4: 5-42 - So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (The woman) said to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back." The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true." The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking with you." At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, "What are you looking for?" or "Why are you talking with her?" The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, "Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?" They went out of the town and came to him. Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. The reaper is already receiving his payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work." Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me everything I have done." When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Congrats: Grace Amelia Swift was baptized March 13, 2011. Below, Laticia holds Grace over the baptismal font to be baptized while Brian Venua and Walter Reynolds altar serve. For more about the baptism CLICK HERE.
Thanx Anthony and Walter: Anthony and Walter Reynolds have been donating their time and talent to help around the Church. This past week they took home a chalice and the metal tops placed on the altar candles. The brought them back this week all shined up. They also took home last year’s palms to burn and crush for Ash Wednesday next year. Thank you two for your generous donation of time and talent. Both Anthony and Walter plan to be confirmed May 29, 2011.
Transfiguration: The second Sunday of Lent highlights the Transfiguration. During the Transfiguration Jesus became bright as light. At some point in our lives we have experienced a transfiguration. It is when something so spiritually profound happened in your life that made you know, without a doubt, that there was a God. Please see the Homily about Penance below.
Confirmation: The Archbishop’s office emailed me this week and told me the Archbishop will be here in Bristol Bay Memorial Weekend. We have several people to be confirmed. I ask that those to be confirmed at Holy Rosary be sure they will be in town Sunday, May 29, at 12:30 PM for the confirmation service. The confirmation for Saint Theresa in King Salmon will be Saturday, May 28 at noon.
IMPORTANT: Those to be confirmed, by March 20, must have a letter written to the Archbishop and a sponsor. Let me know is I can help with this. Fr. Scott.
First Communion: First Communion will be with the Archbishop at 12:30 PM, May 29, 2011 at Holy Rosary and Noon, May 28, 2011 at Saint Theresa in King Salmon.
Around the Mission: Please CLICK HERE for a summary of my travels this past week.
Scrutiny: The first scrutiny will be during mass on the 3rd Sunday in Lent. All those to be confirmed, with their sponsors, should attend. They will be called forward for the Scrutiny. There are three scrutinies, which are bestowed the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent.
Terminology for Adults in RCIA:
Catechumen: Refers to the un-baptized. These people are seeking full communion into the church, i.e. baptism, confirmation, first communion
Candidate: Refers to a baptized Christian, not necessarily baptized Catholic. These people are seeking Confirmation and First Communion.
The Elect: Refers to both the Catechumens and the Candidates for RCIA.
Terminology for Catholic Teens:
Not Really Named: Because it is the normal route to confirmation, a teenager, baptized Catholic, and who has celebrated First Communion, does not really have a special name except maybe, “those to be confirmed.”
Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott
Homily and Readings
2nd Lent Sun A DLG 2011, Mtn Gen 12:1-4; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Mat 17:1-9
When I was in middle school my friend Tedd invited me to climb the South Sister in Oregon. It is part of the Cascade range. We got up early, drove for about 40 minutes, and started out in the dark. Tedd’s dad brought a packsack. We traded off carrying it. By the time we got close to the top of the mountain, the pack was getting heavy. We wondered, What was in this thing?
We all finally reach the top and the pack was opened up. Tedd’s dad had included a bottle of Champaign, for himself and his lawyer friend. Tedd and I were too young to even drink it. The two men celebrated the beauty of the view and the exhilaration they experienced during the climb.
Climbing a mountain is transforming. It brings one closer to God, literally. It is spiritual to be up on top a huge mountain. All of God’s creation is out before you. It is awe-inspiring.
In the bible, great things happen on mountains. In fact, Jesus and Moses have life changing experiences on mountaintops. Although life changing, there experiences are a bit different.
Moses goes up Mount Sinai alone. Jesus climbs Mount Tabor and takes companions with him who share in the experience. The face of God is hidden from Moses. Jesus is given to us as the face of God for the world.
On My. Sinai, Moses receives a code of law and is told to make sure the people obey it. On Mt. Tabor, Jesus receives a proclamation of God’s love and we are told to listen to him. While Moses’ face shines, Jesus’ whole body is transfigured with light. Moses descends the mountain to enforce the law; Jesus comes down to die that we might live.
The God who came to Moses on Mount Sinai wanted us to fulfill the letter of the law. The God who came to us on Mount Tabor wants us to have hearts that listen to the gospel of love.
By listening to the gospel of love and by opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit, we gain the power to transform the world. That is what sacrifice is about during lent. It is not suppose to be a grim season of self-denial. It is about sacrificing for forty days so we can grow more deeply in love with the God who loves us.
The penance we receive during confession is meant to help us sort out what really matters. Does everyone remember what penance is? Penance repairs certain damages that our sins have caused, such as restoring the reputation of someone we have injured, returning money that we have stolen, or rectifying an injustice. During Lent, Penance is intended to cast some light in the darkness of our lives. It is meant to focus on the relationship that gives meaning and purpose for this world and the next.
Sunday Mass is meant to be a weekly mountaintop experience for us. On this weekly mountain, we hear God call us by name and confess his love for us. It is a place to be re-energized. That energy transfigures us…it makes us brighter. During Mass, we not only climb up the Mountain, we receive the tools and faith to actually move mountains (545 Words).
The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you. Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
2 Timothy 1:8-10
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Ash Wednesday Mass: Please invite your friends, co-workers, etc. to our Ash Wednesday celebration. You do not have to be Catholic to receive ashes. The Mass will start at 12:15 PM, March 9, 2011.
First Communion and Confirmation: We are trying to schedule the Archbishop to be here Saturday and Sunday of May 28 and May 29. Let us know if this time will not work for you.
Around the Mission: Our Cherokee Warrior II is getting an annual inspection for Tibbett’s Airmotive in King Salmon. It should be done in a couple weeks. I was in Anchorage all week attending training for the New Roman Missal. I returned on Thursday. On Friday I flew with Grant Aviation to Clarks Point where I prayed a rosary with Louise and Betty Gardener and ate lunch at the school with the children. John Bouker picked me up at Clarks and donated the air fare back to Dillingham. John has a crucifix (we at Holy Rosary gave him) hanging on his compass. I then flew to King Salmon and back on Saturday, March 5, with Penair for Mass at Saint Theresa at noon.
After stoping in Manokotak and picking up a family, Bush Pilot John Paul Bouker dropped by Clarks Point and flew me back to Dillingham. John donated the Air Fare to Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Thank you so much John Paul!
The crucifix Holy Rosary gave John Paul Bouker always hangs from his compass.
Gospel: The readings talk about sin and temptation. Please see homily and readings below.
Have a wonderful week and see you Ash Wednesday! Fr. Scott
ASH WEDNESDAY HOMILY AND READINGS
Ash Wed 2011 DLG, Joel 2:12-18;2Cor5:20—6:2;Mt 6:1-6&16-18
During Lent, the Penitential rite and creed are not said on Ash Wed. Throughout Lent, the Gloria is not recited and the Alleluia is not said or sung. The Altar should not be decorated with flowers
Ashes remind us of mortality, repentance, and reform. In other words the ashes remind us that we are fragile, that we die, to be sorry for our sins, and the necessity to change our lives.
Ash Wednesday begins Lent. The season of Lent is to help prepare new members entering the church. We also celebrate it to prepare ourselves for Easter. We do this through Confession, Penance and the renewal of our baptismal vows. I encourage all of you to call me and make an appointment to go to confession.
Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent are days of universal abstinence and fasting in the church.
Abstinence means that we do not eat (we abstain) from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent. It was a part of the Christian practice for about 40 years. All ages must abstain from meet on Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent
Fasting is a bit different. Only those who are 18 years of age through 59 should fast. There are two main reasons to fast and two different types of fasting.
Main reasons. (1) to prepare for a great event, i.e. Easter and (2) and to prepare for penance.
Actually, fasting can be given as a penance. Fasting takes discipline. Only if we are disciplined will God’s grace work within us. Fasting is an offering made for a favor. For example, one might beg for healing then fast for a day.
There is the complete and partial fast.
Complete Fast: Fast for all of Lent or fast every Friday. For example, one might completely cut out coffee, deserts, or fats for all of lent or every Friday.
Partial Fast: We do not have to just stop eating. For example, If you love coffee everyday, drink one less cup per day.
We are asked to do a partial fast. On Friday’s of Lent, eat only one full meal. Smaller quantities of food may be taken at two other meals. We are also asked not to snack.
For Lent, I encourage all of you to give up something destructive in you life or add something good. In the past I have given up (Complete Fast) chewing tobacco, coffee, and cable TV. One lent I added on to my daily prayer reading the gospel in Spanish. This year I plan to pray the rosary all every day for the 40 days of Lent.
In a few minutes you will receive ashes. Ashes remind us just how fragile we are. We can die at any time. God created us and can take us at any time.
Now, I will Bless the ashes. Then you will all come forward to receive the ashes on your forehead (485 Words).
REMEMBER YOU ARE DUST
AND TO DUST YOU WILL RETURN
Joel 2: 12-18;
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'" Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.
2 Corinthians 5: 20—6:2;
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: "In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
"(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. "When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.
FIRST SUNDAY LENT HOMILY AND READINGS
1st Lent Sun A DLG 2011, Genesis 2:7-9&3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
Many of you probably do not know that sins can be forgiven right here during Mass. They are forgiven during the Penitential rite. At the beginning of Mass I have three introductions to the Penitential rite, Form A, B, and C. Form A is, “As we Prepare to Celebrate the Mystery of Christ’s of Christ’s Love, let us call to mind our Sins.” Form B is, “Coming together as God’s Family with confidence let us ask the Father’s forgiveness, for he is full of gentleness and compassion.” Form C is, “My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins.”
So, after we here this introduction to the penitential rite, or similar words, there should be a silence. During that silence, we call to mind our venial sins. Then the remainder of the penitential rite absolves us of those venial sins.
So, how do we distinguish between a venial sin that can be forgiven during the penitential rite, and mortal sins that we have to confess? Well believe it our not our Catechism is not clear-cut. The Church is concerned with how GRAVE a sin is? For example, if I got up in the morning and told my self I was going to lie to my boss at lunchtime, then that would be a premeditated lie…I planned to lie to my boss. That is not a venial sin.
On the other hand, if you happened to be talking to your boss, and accidentally told a lie, that could be a venial sin.
So, as you can see, any sin could be a mortal sin that needs to be confesses. However, things like accidentally telling white lies, catching yourself gossiping and stopping, and swearing without meaning to are probably considered venial sins. Also, ask yourself, and be honest, is this a grave problem? Is the sin really bothering me?
Our catechism says, “Venial sin allows charity and love to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it. Mortal sin destroys charity and love in the heart of people by a grave violation of God’s law. It turns Man away from God by preferring an inferior good to him” (CCC 1855).
For a sin to be mortal:
1. It must be of a grave matter, i.e. and offense against the 10 commandments
2. It is committed with full knowledge, i.e. one understands how grave it is
3. It is done with deliberate consent, i.e., you know it’s wrong but still do it.
Every sin can be traced back to a focus on ourselves…what satisfies me, my needs, my wants, what makes me feel good. Sin is not always something major like killing, stealing, or adultery.
Sin can be when you think only of yourself and your needs. Sin is when you hardly ever think about what God wants or other people want.
The Gospel gives us a great lesson about sin. When we start focusing on ourselves, then the devil starts to win. Focusing on ourselves seems natural. The devil knows this. The devil temps Jesus several times. Every temptation tries to get Jesus to think only of himself. “Turn stones to bread so YOU won’t starve.” All of these Kingdoms can be YOURS.” Jesus refused to put himself first and thus he was able to hear his calling from God and fulfill it.
Here is our slogan for Lent: Say no to self and yes to God (575 Words).
The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned -- for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come. But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person's transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many. And the gift is not like the result of the one person's sinning. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and 'with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.