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.

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