Monday, April 25, 2011

Announcements: 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A

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

Thank you: Thank you to Rick Tennyson who framed and hung our stained glass windows. Matteo Guarino created these windows during the last several years.

Thank you: Thank you to Spruce Lynch and Brain Venua for the music during Easter Sunday.

Thank you: Thank you to Bernina Venua for organizing the Easter Egg hunt for the children. There were many happy campers after the Easter Mass!!

Gospel: Have you ever had a sign from God? Please see homily and readings below.

Potluck: Next Potluck will be May 29th after the Confirmation and First Communion celebration.

Confirmation: All those to be confirmed will need to meet after mass, Sunday, May 8th. The Archbishop will be here for confirmation, Sunday, May 29th, at 12:30 PM.

First Communion: Those to receive First Communion will meet with me Sunday, May 15th, after Mass. First Communion will be May 29th.

Canon Law Convention: I will be in Great Falls Montana for a canon law convention next week.

Have a wonderful Easter Season…Fr. Scott

Homily and Readings

2nd Easter Sun A STAER Sings
Have you ever asked for a sign from God? I have. When I became distressed about being in the seminary I prayed for a sign. “God, are you positive this is what you want me to do. If so, give me a sign. One time I said, “God, just show me one negative thing about this seminary and I am out of here.” Well, as you can see, that is one sign I never received.

I think we have all needed a sign from God at one time or another? Some of us probably have strong enough faith that we don’t need to pray for signs. I need them once in awhile…and so did Thomas. Thomas needed something more convincing than just words. He needed a concrete experience with the risen Lord to give his faith a little boost.

Thomas doubted his faith. He struggled with believing that Christ had risen and had come back to life. That struggle led him to a profound experience with the risen Lord.

I think it is OK to ask for signs. It is also OK to doubt our faith. I believe the two go hand in hand. When we doubt our faith, we sometimes need a sign of God’s presence to get us back on track.

Doubting our faith can lead us to struggle with our faith like Thomas did. As we struggle with our faith we ask questions. We try to understand. Our hearts are more open to the Holy Spirit.

That is when the signs we have prayed for may become clear…and those signs enable us to have a personal encounter with the risen Lord.

Experiencing the risen Lord is a sign of God’s presence and love for us. For example, Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers are known to feel a profound joy and love when serving at mass. When we help others, we feel wonderful inside, we experience the risen Lord. When we refuse to gossip and when we are honest, we experience the risen Christ. Ever walked out of Confession and felt like you were totally at peace with God?

All of us here today are benefactors of Thomas experience with the risen Lord. As Thomas believed because he saw the risen Jesus, “So too,” Acts tells us, “were many brought to faith through the various signs and wonders wrought by the apostles.”

Those signs and wonders are all around us. To see them, doubting Thomas reminds us to struggle with our faith…open our hearts to the spirit. It is then that we will see those signs and experience the risen Lord.

When we experience the risen Lord, we grow in faith. Growing in faith should set us on fire with the love of God.

Thomas’ experience with the risen Lord set him on fire. “My Lord and My God,” he exclaimed when he saw the nail marks in Jesus’ arms.

Whether we pray for a sign or not, we can all experience the risen Lord. Be open to the Holy Spirit…Struggle with your faith if you have questions and problems. Get involved with ministry. And when you experience the risen Lord again, let that flame within you spread like wildfire. Pass that torch of love on to everyone you meet (540 Words).

Acts 2: 42-47
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

1 Pt 1: 3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of (your) faith, the salvation of your souls.

Jn 20: 19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of (his) disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name

Monday, April 18, 2011

Announcements: Holy Week Year A 2011

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

Holy Week Celebrations at Holy Rosary in Dillingham:
Holy Thursday, 5:30 PM
Good Friday, 5:30 PM
Easter Sunday, 10:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt to Follow the Easter Sunday Mass

Easter at Saint Theresa in King Salmon/Naknek will be celebrated at 4:00 PM Saturday, April 23rd.

Easter at Saint Peter the Fisherman will be celebrated on Good Friday at 11:30 AM.

Rectory Committee: I have selected a committee to decide what will happen to our rectory once I leave July 31, 2011. There will not be a priest living in the rectory. A priest or deacon will come out every other weekend and return the same week-end back to Anchorage. The members of the committee have until May 29, 2011, to make a decision. The committee members are: Aileen Walsh, Angie Venua, Angela Clark, Bernie Venua, Kyle Belleque, Pat Durbin, and Joanne Armstrong.

Potluck: The next potluck will be after Mass May 29th. The Archbishop will be here to celebrate confirmation and first communion. Please bring your favorite dish.

My Next Assignment: The Archbishop is sending me to Sacred Heart in Wasilla, Alaska. I start the first weekend in August.

Gospel: Homilies and Readings for the Holy Week are below.

Have a wonderful Holy Week. Fr. Scott

Holy Thursday Homily and Readings:
April 21, 2011 Ex 12: 1-8, 11-14; 1 Cor 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-15

Today is the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. We will formally receive the oils from the Chrism Mass, which was celebrated on Tuesday at the Cathedral. We will participate in a foot washing ceremony.

Getting our feet washed is about contact with Jesus. It is to remind us that Jesus is constantly making attempts to contact us.

Allowing Jesus to contact us means knowing we will never be abandoned.

Faith enables us to let Jesus contact us. We let Jesus contact us if we are open to the Holy Spirit.

We let Jesus contact us in Baptism, Marriage, Reconciliation, confirmation, anointing of the sick, Holy Orders, and at the Eucharist.

The woman at the well let Jesus contact her. That contact transformed her life.

Jesus contacted Peter. Peter became our first Pope.

Remember the story of the Man born blind. By letting Jesus contact him, he was both spiritually and physically cured. It can cure us too!

When we let Jesus contact us this is what happens:
We can pass from unrest to a profound feeling of peace. We can shift from despair to hope. We can pass from darkness into light. We can move from death to life.

This foot washing is about contact with Jesus…letting Jesus contact us. He is helping us to understand the Eucharist. He is saying this: We do not really understand what it means to celebrate the Eucharist unless we are prepared…unless we are prepared to perform the lowliest and least exciting of tasks for one another.

During the rest of Holy Week, I challenge all of you to be aware of contact with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus said in the Gospel, “Wash each other’s feet.” Not literally, but let Jesus love you and in turn, pass that love on to others.

When the prayer after communion is complete, I will process with the blessed sacrament around the congregation and then place it in the confessional. When this is complete, I will genuflect and all leave in silence. That blessed sacrament will be used tomorrow during the Good Friday celebration.

Now I need some volunteers for the foot washing (358 Words).

Holy Thursday: Reception of the Holy Oils:

Oils are brought up with the gifts. The presenter holds the oil and says, oil of the sick, and then brings it forward. The priest describes the oil.

Presenter 1: The Oil of the Sick.

Priest: May the sick who are anointed with this oil experience the compassion of Christ and his saving love, in body and soul.
R: Blessed be God forever.

Presenter 2: The Oil of Catechumens.

Priest: Through anointing with this oil may our catechumens who are preparing to receive the savings waters of baptism be strengthened by Christ to resist the power of Satan and reject evil in all its forms.
R: Blessed be God forever.

Presenter 3: The Holy Chrism.

Priest: Through anointing with this perfumed Chrism may children and adults, who are baptized and confirmed, and presbyters, who are ordained, experience the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit.
R: Blessed be God forever.

Exo 12:1] The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, [Exo 12:2] "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. [Exo 12:3] Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
[Exo 12:4] If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. [Exo 12:5] The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. [Exo 12:6] You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. [Exo 12:7] They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. [Exo 12:8] That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. [Exo 12:11] "This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD. [Exo 12:12] For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first--born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt-I, the LORD! [Exo 12:13] But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. [Exo 12:14] "This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.

[1 Cor 11:23] For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, [1 Cor 11:24] and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." [1 Cor 11:25] In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." [1 Cor 11:26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

[John 13:1] Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. [John 13:2] The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, [John 13:3] fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, [John 13:4] he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. [John 13:5] Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. [John 13:6] He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" [John 13:7] Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." [John 13:8] Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." [John 13:9] Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." [John 13:10] Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." [John 13:11] For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean." [John 13:12] So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? [John 13:13] You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. [John 13:14] If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. [John 13:15] I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

Good Friday Homily and Readings:
April 22, 2011, Herby, Is52:13—53:12;Heb4:14-16&5:7-9;Jn18:1—19:42

A group of production managers calculated the time it would take experienced hikers to trek 50 miles. Next they chose 9 accomplished hikers, and Herby. If the hikers made it back TOGETHER in the allotted time, each would receive $10,000.

Herby, sweating and tired after the first few miles, fell behind. Time was wasted waiting for him. The hikers tried moving Herby to the middle of the line and divided up his backpack among them. They made better time, but it was not enough. Finally, they put Herby right up front and took turns encouraging him. They showed him compassion when his feet were hurting. They were patient with him when he needed to rest. Not surprisingly, they collected the money.

The story about Herby is similar to the story in the Gospel. Both are about sacrificing, dying and rising, and living out God’s Will.

The story of Herby is about sacrificing. The hikers start out with their own agendas. They are self sufficient and not willing to reach out to others. In the infant stages of the hike, I can envision physically elite hikers waiting for Herby to catch up, pacing, yelling at him, and swearing under their breath. Halfway through the adventure, they realize they need to make some sacrifices.

The story of Herby is also about dying and rising, but not in the LITERAL sense. One hiker, comparable to taking a knife and stabbing himself in the heart, grudgingly walks over to Herby, takes off his pack, and divides up his belongings. Herby makes better time for a few hours. One hiker bandages Herby’s blistered feet (compassion) Spirits are lifted and they are back on schedule.

Finally, the Herby story is about living out God’s will. By loving Herby, instead of chastising him, the hikers made more progress as a unit. Doing God’s will means loving one another. It means reaching out to the outcasts in our society and actually feeling and experiencing their pain.

The Good Friday Gospel is about sacrifice. It’s about Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the Cross for us. It’s about dying and rising.

It’s about Jesus, stumbling, falling with the weight of his Cross…being helped up by others, then stumbling, and falling, again and again. And all along he knew he was trudging toward his death.

Good Friday is about doing God’s will by loving others. Jesus embraced God’s will and died on the cross because he loved us so much. We to will be saved if we embrace God’s will.

The message of the Good Friday Gospel is this: Jesus not only shows us how to die, but he shows us how to live as well (448 Words).

Isaiah 52:13—53
See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him-- so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals--So shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, A grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, Though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. (But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.) If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, Because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; And he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

John 18:1—19:42 (Passion)

Easter Sunday Homily
DLG 2011, Let Go.

Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, is a swashbuckling archeologist. His missions involve finding valuable religious articles and getting chased by tribes of Indians. Here is a riddle:

Indiana Jones was running from a tribe of hostile natives. He had just found and taken three diamonds. Each diamond weighed one pound. He weighed 200 pounds. Indiana Jones approached an old rope bridge. The sign on the bridge said, “Max Weight 202 pounds. His total weight with the diamonds was 203 pounds. How did he cross the bridge? He juggled the diamonds. He let go of one diamond. By letting go, it made him lighter. It lessoned his burden. It saved his life.

Here is the message of Easter…We cannot have new life without letting go…without dieing first. LEARN TO JUGGLE. In the spiritual life, juggling represents letting go or dieing and then rising to new life.

While juggling I hold onto one ball while the other two are in the air. When I finally toss the one ball back into the air:

It frees me
It makes me lighter
It lessons my burden

Juggling teaches us to let go. As humans, we like to hold on to things that may not be so good for us. We grow attached to things. When we give them up, it makes us free…it makes our loads manageable. It gives us a new lease on life.

I “let go” of chewing tobacco eight years ago. I was at risk for mouth and stomach cancer. I had high blood pressure. I was suffering. I let it go. My blood pressure went down. It struggled for a couple of years but I feel so much better.

Drinking is another one of those bad habits I let go. When I drank I suffered, and so did the people around me. This is no exaggeration. After being sober my relationships were strengthened, my health improved, I was never depressed, and my life has never been better.

Letting go of material possessions frees us to do more of God’s work. When we simplify our lives we are more open to God’s call.

During college I stored my belongings in a storage unit. Storage spaces cost lots of money. I soon realized I did not need the stuff and got rid of all of it. I juggled…I let it go. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders…it was New life.

Let go of those intangible things that hurt us, hurt others, and lead us farther from God.

Gossiping, impatience, self-centeredness, lying, cheating, stress, and worrying are things we can let go of.

Catholic Christians let go of these things by calling on the Holy Spirit and praying Jesus. Jesus tells us this, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That is an invitation to you to “let go” and share that burden with God.

It is when we let go that we experience new life. Letting go reduces suffering. Clinging to bad habits and practices creates suffering.

Now just what does it mean to die to self? Learn to do things YOU dislike to do but BENEFIT another person. No-one likes standing in a long line (dieing). Let a person go in front of you at the check-out stand (new life).

There is a belief that nothing that comes to us is negative. All things that come to us give us a chance to grow in holiness and grow closer to God. Everything that is given to us is a gift to help us grow…even suffering and illness.

Things in life that are good for us always come through dieing…through letting go. Take it from Jesus, have faith, trust in God, let go and die, experience new life…in short…learn to juggle with it

Monday, April 11, 2011

Announcements: Palm Sunday, Year A, 2011

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

Palm Sunday Celebration: Palm Sunday will begin outside as usual. Come inside first to get your Palm branches. The Passion will be read by myself, Michael Swaim, and Angela Clark.

Holy Thursday and Good Friday: These celebrations will begin at 5:30 PM.

Easter: Easter will be Easter Sunday at 10:00 AM. Following will be an Easter Egg hunt. All the Dillingham children are invited to participate at noon.

Potluck and Archbishop Visit: Sunday, May 29, the Archbishop will be here for confirmation and first communion during our 12:30 Mass. There will be a potluck to follow. Please bring your favorite dish.

Chrism Mass: I will be attending the Archdiocesan Chrism Mass Wednesday at 7:00 PM at the Anchorage Cathedral. The oils that the Archbishop blesses and consecrates will be received at our Holy Thursday Mass in Dillingham.

Confirmation: Our candidates for confirmation have continued to prepare for their special day. Their next assignment is to prepare a couple paragraphs on the fruits or gifts of the Holy Spirit and read it during Mass.

Going to Mass: Going to Mass is not a decision we should have to make from scratch every weekend. It is something we simply make part of our lives every week. Why is it a sin not to go to mass? Because each week Jesus invites us to partake in His precious Body and Blood. Not to accept that invitation means we are rejecting it.

Have a wonderful day and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

Monday, April 4, 2011

Announcements: 5th Sunday of Lent Year A

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

Trip to Mount Angel, Oregon: Here are from left to right me, Fr. Tom Lilly, Dr. Owen Cummings, Mnsgr Joseph, and Father Robert Fath. For more pictures of my time at Mount Angel Seminary, please see our Blog,

Trip to Bend, Oregon: While visiting Bend my mom, sister and nephew took a road trip 25 miles East of Bend. We went out to look at the place where my mom wants to be buried when she dies. It is called Pine Mountain. It over-looks the Central Oregon High desert and has a beautiful view of the mountains. My mom used to love to look for arrow heads in that area.

Here is a view from the top of Pine Mountain to the southeast.

On the way up to the top of Pine Mountain, my nephew Trevin stands by some freshly cut ponderosa pine.

Here is a view from Pine Mountain. Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Three Sisters) loom beautifully in the background.

Although it was closed, we drove the six miles to the top of Pine Mountain up the snowy road in my sister's Subaru.

What does Easter Mean to Me? – Spruce Lynch will receive the hand carved wooden statue from Italy for her beautiful reflection on Easter.

What Easter Means to Me
By Spruce Margaret Lynch

“New beginnings, new life, hope, new vistas,” - these are just a few things that come to my mind when I think about what Easter means to me. On that early Sunday morning, so long ago, when Christ rose from the dead, he not only conquered physical death, he conquered despair, and the effects of my sin.

Easter is something I see daily. Easter is an event that is on all my daily planners. Although I do not always write in the word, “Easter,” the message is there because I write down what I have to do in a positive way; even the things I would rather not do. For example, I really do not like doing paperwork. It is a necessary part of my job, so I do it. The Easter message tells me to do it well, because ultimately, the efforts do help our clients. The message is also that I can do the work in a way that brings glory to God.

Easter is my beacon in my struggles and my shining star during the good times. Easter moments happen throughout the day, even if I am not fully conscious of what is occurring around me. At the end of the day, while doing my evening reflections, I say, “Ah, there you were, Lord. At the time I was so preoccupied, I didn’t notice you. However, you were there, shining your Easter light to inspire me for the next challenge.

As an artist, I see Easter when I sit very still and silent before my easel. When I am inspired to draw, a smile curves my lips and makes me think, “Aha, Lord. You are here.”
As a musician, I feel Easter whenever I sing or play an instrument. As a drug and alcohol counselor, I see Easter in the lives of my clients when they live another day of sobriety. I “Easter” to them every time I am able to model hope.

Every time a broken friendship is mended, I feel the Resurrection. Thankfully, I don’t have many broken friendships, but I have had a few. When those healing moments occur, I see another “Easter moment.” Whenever I approach a difficult situation, I think of the Easter message and that carries me through.

Easter to me, is the most important verb in my vocabulary. I tell myself, “I am Eastering,” when going through a difficult time. I “Easter” when enjoying life. This helps me to remember whom I serve. It is an action word that carries me from sadness to happiness; from my moments of despair to my moments of hope. Easter reminds me that there is always hope. Easter reminds me to live in hope. If Christ is for me, who can be against me?

Gospel: The raising of Lazarus relates to events in our lives. Have you ever been raised up? Please see the homily and readings below.

Confirmation: All the candidates for confirmation have written a letter to the Archbishop. Next we will be discussing the structure of the Mass.

Easter Sunday: Mass on Easter will be at 10:00 AM. Following the Mass Bernina Venua will host an Easter Egg hunt outside around Holy Rosary. All children are welcome to participate.

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

Homily and Readings

5th Lent Sun A DLG 2011, Lifted Up, Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11: 1-45 (READ LONG FORM)

Have you ever been lifted up? Has your dad ever lifted you up and sat you on his shoulders? Did your husband lift you up and carry you over the threshold? Have you ever jumped on a trampoline? Once, when I hadn’t seen my niece Jennifer for a long time, I hugged her and lifted her off her feet. Being lifted up can be thrilling, invigorating and enlivening.

The readings today are about being “raised up.” In the reading Ezekiel lifts up, or raises the people from their graves. In Romans, Paul speaks of the spirit raising Jesus from the dead. Similarly in the Gospel, Lazarus is raised-up from the dead.

Jesus lifts us up. Because Jesus died and was raised up, we too die with Jesus and are raised up.

One thing about life is that things do not always go perfect and according to plan. I have come to believe that living a full and happy life consists of many things. It consists of the ups and downs, good times and bad, the easy and difficult, and the predictable and unpredictable.

I have to admit though; the most fulfilling times in my life come when Jesus lifts me up. For example:

When I broke my ankle a couple years ago, people sent me cards and visited me. When I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Anchorage. When I passed my canon law exam.

Other fulfilling times in my life are when, through God’s help, I lift up someone else. When I pray for a person’s health and they get better. When I am able to absolve someone of their sins. When I invite someone to church.

Being raised up is an important part of our Catholic Tradition. Just as Jesus was raised up to heaven, so to will we be raised up.

During the Eucharist today, I want you to pay close attention to the signs of being lifted up. Pay attention to the image of suffering, death, and resurrection. The sacred host of the Body of Christ is lifted up. The chalice of the precious blood is lifted up. My arms are lifted up in prayer.

Those signs apply to all of us. It is called hope. The hope that Christ will lift us up on the last day. It is that hope of everlasting life.

(Point to the Crucifix) That, my brothers and sisters, is what our crucifix is all about.

This week, make it a conscious effort to go out and lift someone up (421 Words).

Ezekiel 37:12-14
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Romans 8:8-1
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.

John 11: 1-45
Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. So the sisters sent word to him, saying, "Master, the one you love is ill." When Jesus heard this he said, "This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." He said this, and then told them, "Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him." So the disciples said to him, "Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved." But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. So then Jesus said to them clearly, "Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him." So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go to die with him." When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (But) even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise." Martha said to him, "I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, "The teacher is here and is asking for you." As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Sir, come and see." And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him." But some of them said, "Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?" So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, "Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me." And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, "Untie him and let him go." Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.