Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Announcements: 18th Sunday Ordinary Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners: Here are a few announcements.

Fantastic Send Off: Thank you all for raising money for an airplane ticket for me to fly back to Holy Rosary in the future. I was so happy to see everyone at Mass and to partake in the wonderful potluck afterward. Jacob Belleque knew I was leaving and asked his grandmother if I was going to Heaven! I hope so Jacob, I am definitely leaving Heaven on Earth.

Finances: Angie Venua will be taking care of the finances, i.e. paying bills and keeping an electronic check book in Quicken. Diana Swaim will continue to count the Sunday collection and make the deposit. Fr. Nelson (with help from parishioners) will count, collect, and deposit the water money.

Telephone: The parish phone number is forwarded to our parish cell phone. Angela Clark has volunteered to answer the phone while Fr. Nelson and I are in transition. She will be answering calls and returning messages from July 26 to August 16, 2011.

My Schedule: I hope you visit me in Wasilla at Sacred Heart. There will be a few weeks when I will be traveling and will be having Fr. Stan fill in for me. Fr. Stan is retired and an IFR and commercial rated pilot and lives in the Sacred Heart Rectory.

July 26: Leave for Anchorage
July 27-29: Work on Canon Law cases for Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage dioceses.
August 1: First Day at Sacred Heart in Wasilla
Sep 5-15: Wilmington, North Carolina vacation
Nov 7-17: Oregon, my cousin's wedding and visit family

When you come to Anchorage please come and visit me!!!

Gospel: The readings point to the importance of charity. Please see homily and readings below.

Have a fantastic week and thank you for letting me serve you for the past six years (August 5, 2005 to July 31, 2011).

Homily and Readings:

18th Ord A DLG 2011 Charity, Isaiah 55::1-3; Romans 8:35&37-39; Matthew 14:13-21

When I go into a village, someone always meets me and picks me up on a 4-wheeler. During the summer, Karen brings fresh flowers and puts them below the Mary statue. When my mechanic changes the oil on my airplane, he usually donates it. Pat goes out and mows the cemetery.

These are all acts of charity. Saint Paul tells us that when it comes to faith, hope, and charity, the greatest is charity.

Charity resonates through the readings. Isaiah says, “All you who are thirsty, come to the water. You who have no money, come receive grain and eat.” The second reading from Romans tells us that we can never be separated from God’s charity.
All through history god has been charitable.

To help the Israelites reach the Promised Land, God showered them with, mana, which was bread from heaven.

Through God’s help, the prophet Elijah multiplied flour and oil to save a widow and her son from starvation.

Elisha did a bit better than his master, multiplying 20 barley loaves so as to feed 100, with some even left over.

According to our Catechism, “The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy” (Catechism 1829).

“Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God (Catechism 1822).

The Apostle Paul also wrote that beautiful quote from Corinthians, "Charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.

Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (Catechism 1825).

Today’s gospel gives us several examples of charity. After hearing about the death of John the Baptist’s death, Jesus wants to be alone. He wants to get away and just make sense of it all. Have you ever felt like that...get away, leave me alone! But that does not stop him from being charitable.

In a state of grieving, Jesus performed three acts of charity. While still grieving, Jesus (1) healed the sick, (2) preached all day, and (3) fed 5000. The Little boy (4) gave up loaves and fish.

Today God is charitable. He will continue to be charitable in the future. He does that through the Eucharist.

Here are a few quotes about charity. I ask that you all try to perform one act this week.

Pope Saint Clement I: “Charity unites us to God. There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, and does all things in harmony. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect.”

Bob Hope: “If you have not got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”

Mother Theresa: “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love” (Words 507).

Isaiah 55::1-3
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.

Romans 8:35&37-39
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 14:13-21
When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves." (Jesus) said to them, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have here." Then he said, "Bring them here to me," and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking 5 the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Announcements: 17 Sunday Ordinary Time Year A

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

Last Trip to Clarks Point: Since the Cherokee is parked in Wasilla, I hopped on VanAir, Friday, July 15, for my last Mass in Clarks Point, Alaska. I baptized one year old Jack Thomas Slattengren in the Saint Peter the Fisherman Church.

Here is a picture after my last Mass at Saint Peter the Fisherman in Clarks Point.

37 Baptisms: During my six year term (August 2005 to August 2011) at Holy Rosary Mission I have baptized 37 infants, children, and adults. The late Father Kelly baptized 85 infants, children, and adults during his eleven year term.

Gospel: If you have not found the Pearl of Great Price, I pray you all will. All though you cannot fully possess it here on earth, I pray that you will continue to strive for it throughout your lives. Please see homily and readings below.

Potluck: Sunday after Mass will be a potluck. Please bring your favorite dish.

Thank you: Thank you to Pat Durbin and Bernie Venua for working on fixing the leak in our Church basement. Pat rounded up a load of dirt and Bernie taped a seam on the rubber mat outside.

Sunday Collection: Our collection was $175.00 last Sunday. That does not count several people who donated by direct deposit into the Holy Rosary Checking account or people who send in automatic donations through Bill Pay, i.e. Wells Fargo.

Have a wonderful week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott.

Homily and Readings:

17 Ord A 109 DLG 2011, Treasure, 1 Kings 3: 5&7-12; Romans 8:28-30; Mat 13:44-52

Finding Treasure is exciting. I love reading novels about treasure hunts and sunken ships. I heard of one person who found a three million dollar stash with a metal detector. He was very very happy. In ancient times, people use to bury their money and valuable possessions in case an army killed them. This way, hidden treasure lay underground for future generations.

Once, while out jogging, I found a $100 bill lying in the street. What a boon. When my great grandfather, Grandpa Dale, built his house, Grandma Tony grabbed a couple of handfuls of silver dollars and dropped them down one of the walls before they sealed it up. Whenever we visited she showed me the wall and told me the story. When they died, I crawled down under the house and tried to find the treasure. No luck. Someone beat me to it.

In the Gospel, the Kingdom of Heaven is like buried treasure. A worker in the field finds this treasure. It is the key to happiness, peace, eternal life, and joy. Unfortunately this treasure is not his. The worker does not own the field, the man he works for does. So the worker re-buries this great treasure. He needs time to think and plan how he can own this great treasure for himself.

The man rounds up all of his worldly possessions, sells them, and takes the money to the owner of that field. He buys that field with every cent he had. He now possesses the knowledge of how to be happy and obtain eternal life.

The pearl of great price is the same type of story. A person finds a treasure, he sells everything, and then he possesses the treasure, the pearl of great price, this knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The people who find the pearl of great price risk everything to own it. Zacchaeus climbed down from the tree and was invited to the Kingdom. Peter gave up his fishing income for the treasure.

Today, in our money driven secular society, the treasure of the Gospel can lie deep beneath the hard earth.

Here is the message for all of us: we receive the sacraments, we pray, we struggle with our faith, and we go through the motions of going to church. Then suddenly, through God’s grace, the treasure may be discovered.

We come to the realization that there is only one real thing in life worth possessing: The Gospel of Jesus.

The gospel is the love of Jesus, his forgiveness, his divine presence, his promise of eternal life. This is the treasure. This is the one real thing in life worth owning. This is the Pearl of Great Price.

We cannot fully possess this treasure here on earth. We have to strive for it throughout our lives. As we strive for this treasure our lives are transformed. As our lives are transformed we become magnets. We become infectious. Others want what we have. We draw others into the Kingdom. As our faith grows and we become closer to the treasure, we realize there is nothing better to be had.

My prayer for all of you is that you never give up striving for that Pearl of Great price and that someday you will possess it (545 Words).

1 Kings 3: 5&7-12
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?" The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. So God said to him: "Because you have asked for this--not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right--I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.

Romans 8:28-30
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.

Mat 13:44-52
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. "Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Announcements: 16th Sunday Ordinary Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements (for Sunday July 17):

Mission Complete: Here is a picture of the West entrance to Lake Clark Pass as our Cherokee Warrior II was completing its Mission in Bristol Bay. The plane is now parked in Space A5 at the Wasilla airport.

Thank you: Thanx to Brian Venua and Spruce Lynch for sharing their musical talent at the funeral of Olga Marie Ayuluk. The music was wonderful!

Thank you: Thank you to Pat Walsh for welding a part for Pat Durbin and thank you to Pat D. for mowing the cemetery. The grounds were perfect for the funeral of Olga Ayuluk.

My Last Sunday: My last Sunday at Holy Rosary will be the 24th of July. I plan to leave Monday or Tuesday the 25th or 26th to Anchorage to start preparing for my new assignment at Sacred Heart in Wasilla.

Around the Mission: I actually flew our Cherokee through the Lake Clark Pass to Wasilla last week. It was not a great flight. The clouds were low and there was fog and mist. Fortunately the Pass was open but leading up to the pass and leaving the pass, I was Scud running, i.e. around 500 to 600 feet. It started clearing up a few miles west of Wasilla. I did my first daily Mass (pinch hit for Fr. Stan Alley), unloaded some of my belongings in the Wasilla office garage, and flew back on Penair.

Gospel: The Kingdom of Heaven is like a slow growing mustard tree. Please see Homily and Readings below.

Have a wonderful week and see you Sunday!

Homily and Readings:

16 Ord A DLG 2008 Seed, Wisdom 12:13&16-19; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43

The desire to root out evil is a universal temptation for humanity. Look at Hitler’s concentration camps, Stalin’s purges, China’s cultural Revolution, the Spanish Inquisition, and the witch-hunts of medieval Europe. Our human history is littered with the bloody attempts to create by force a pure and uncontaminated society.

Even religion has a desire to create a perfect community of the saved. After all, isn’t the point of faith to strive for perfection and to root out sin?

The gospel tells us that it is not up to us to be the judge of who is evil and who is not. Only God can judge the human heart. Thus, Jesus rejects the witch-hunts, the inquisitions, and the purified races. He says, “Let both weed and wheat grow together, side by side, until the harvest.”

God’s plan is that the Kingdom of God is not to be imposed by force and violence. The parable of the mustard seed helps to explain an important message. Let’s take a look.

Mustard is actually an herb. There seems to be some confusion as to the interpretation of the mustard tree, which came from the mustard seed. There are several different kinds of mustard bushes. The best picture I say was called the Original Mustard tree.

The Kingdom of God grows gradually from small beginnings like a mustard seed.

Such growth needs time and has a rhythm of its own: God’s rhythm!

The effect of the kingdom gradually transforms people from within. In the Gospel of John Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches, if you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”

The seed of the Kingdom of God grows when people respond to it freely, like the leaves soak in the sunlight and the roots take up the water. When there is good soil. When there is a receptive heart. It is then that a person can bring forth a rich harvest of good works.

The seed of the Kingdom of God has great power. It has power to transform both individuals and the world. But never by force and never in a big hurry.

The mustard seed grows slowly. It represents patience. The lord is patient in order to allow us to respond to his love. The seed of God inside of us needs time to ripen and to grow. God has patience in us because he believes in us. He give us time so that our true selves may flourish.

God’s patience allows us to fail a few times. Like the parable of the sower last week, there were three failures, the seed on the path, seed on rocks, and seeds in thorns. Finally, the seed fell on rich soil. God has patience so that we will eventually choose the life-giving wheat, rather than the life-choking weeds.

The way of Jesus and all of us, is not to do violence to ourselves or to others. Our way is to allow God’s gentle and persistent love to bring forth a harvest of good works within us. To grow from a little tiny mustard seed, to a beautiful tree: focus on good. Allow God’s Kingdom to grow within you. Let God transform you.

So, let us rejoice this day because our lord is patient, mild of judgment, and gives us time to grow into beautiful people (561 Words).

Wisdom 12:13&16-19
For neither is there any god besides you who have the care of all, that you need show you have not unjustly condemned; For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved; and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity. But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you. And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; And you gave your sons good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.

Romans 8:26-27
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will.

Matthew 13:24-43
He proposed another parable to them. "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?'
He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."'" He proposed another parable to them. "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" He spoke to them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened." All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation (of the world)." Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Announcements: 15th Sunday Ordinary Time Yr A

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

Gospel: The Parable of the Sower is easily applied to our daily lives. Please see the homily and readings below.

Altar Serving: Three girls were fast tracked to Altar Serving. All three celebrated First Communion on the 29th of May. Lotus altar served for the first time two weeks later on Sunday, June 12 and Katelynn and Alethia five weeks later on Sunday July 3rd. Each girl received about an hour of training and was helped during the Mass by experienced Altar Servers Anthony Reynolds and Brian Venua.

Below Katelynn (left) and Alethia (right) pose for a picture.

Katelynn on her first day altar serving:

Alethia on her first day Altar Serving.

Final Week: My last Sunday Mass will be July 24th. I will be actually leaving for Sacred Heart in Wasilla sometime between Tuesday the 26 of July and Friday the 27th.

Thank you: Thank you to Bernie Venua for helping take down the unleaded fuel tank on the property. The tank was becoming a safety hazard due to its concrete base becoming eroded after 30 some years.

Around the Mission: It was a slow week for flying. The fog was unpredictable and moved in and out throughout each day. I flew to King Salmon on Penair and cancelled Clarks Point. I hope to fly to Kokiganek, Clarks Point, and Ekuk before I have to fly the Cherokee to Wasilla.

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

Homily and Announcements:

15th Ord A DLG 2011, Environment, Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23
When I was growing up, my mother was continually telling me to turn off the lights in the house. She reminded me not to waste food because there were children starving in other countries. Born during the depression era, my mother learned to save and conserve.

The readings today point to the environment. They talk about Rain, snow, seeds, sowers, fertile soil, and rich ground. We hear a lot about environmental issues these days.

The bottom line is that God asks us to be good stewards of the earth. That means that we must wisely use the resources that are given to us.

Genesis reminds us that all humanity is to care for the earth, not wreck it. Both the New and Old Testaments are filled with the importance of our relationships to the earth.

To explain the parable of the sower, I want to use our environment as an example.

First, facts, figures and recent debates about our planet’s environment fall on the path. We acknowledge there presents, we take them to heart, but in a couple of days we forget about them and take no action.

Second, environment concerns fall on rocky ground. In other words, we are not receptive to hearing anything that might demand a change in our lifestyle. Something that lessens our comfort is out of the question.

Third, environmental issues fall among thorns. This one probably describes me the best. I have other priorities…other issues that must be dealt with. It is not that important right now and it can wait for another generation.

Fourth, what experts say about the environment falls on fertile soil. We want to do whatever we can to see that the earth continues to bear fruit for as many generations as God intends. We do our small part to help that to happen.

Here is another take on the parable of the sower. The sower failed three times out of four. He succeeded on the fourth try.

Look at Jesus. Jesus’ crucifixion failed for three days. Finally, he was raised. Jesus failed to win over the Pharisees and tax collectors. He failed to defend himself in front of Pilate and Herod. It was only after the Resurrection and the ultimate sign of salvation that he succeeded. Once the fourth try was complete, it brought about great results

The first three steps of the parable fail, the last one succeeds. There is a 25 percent success rate.

Here are the four spiritual steps: We fail, we listen, we learn, and we grow. There are four seeds and one out of every seed grows.

What this means is that it is Ok to fail three times. It is OK to fail, as long as we TRY and do our best to de better the next time. Never give up! The Key word is TRY…keep trying.

The Lord asks us to try, not necessarily succeed. Mother Theresa said, “Jesus does not ask us to be successful, but to be faithful.

The message today is clear: Be good stewards of the earth. Appreciate what God has given us. Take care of our resources. Cut down on waste. If we have failed at doing our part, don’t give up. Keep trying (537 Words).

Isaiah 55:10-11
For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats. So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

Romans 8:18-23
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Matthew 13:1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Whoever has ears ought to hear." The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.' Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: 'You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.' "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. "Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold."