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."

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