Happy July 4th!
Wish you all a Happy July 4th! Are you excited to celebrate July 4th? We are grateful for our country, a nd we want to be good citizens. Thomas Jefferson on July 4th, 1826, wrote in a letter: “May it be to the world, what I believe it will be ... the signal of arousing men to burst the chains ... and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. ...For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights and an undiminished devotion to them."
The best thing we can do to become better citizens is to be better Christians. Every year around July 4th United States Conference of Catholic Bishops invites us to pray for religious freedom. We are excited to celebrate July 4th, but we need to hold on to that spirit every day, in every aspect of our life.
Last week, we reflected on call, response, and commitment. This weekend's reading reflects on the proclamation of Good News of Hope and Love. The first reading and Gospel talk about joy. In the first reading from the book of Isaiah, the prophet invites the Israelites to rejoice with Jerusalem. In the Gospel, the seventy-two came back with much joy.
The first reading from the book of Isaiah is from the third Isaiah (56-66). The passage for this weekend is from chapter 66 which deals with the history of rights after the Babylonian exile. They were in exile for fifty years when the Persians conquered the Babylonians and allowed the Jews to return home. What they saw when they returned was discouraging: their cities and homes were ruined. God engages with them through Isaiah and insists that they rejoice. He promises that Jerusalem is like a mother once again, nurturing them and caring for them. We see the same message about Jerusalem in several Old Testament passages. We read in Tobit 13:14 “Happy are those who love you, and happy are those who rejoice in your peace. Happy too are all who grieve over all your afflictions, for they will rejoice over you and behold all your joy forever.” God told Israelites they will enjoy prosperity once again. Psalm 66, our responsorial psalm echoes this call to rejoice.
The Gospel passage (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20) is paired with the mission of seventy-two: the preaching of the Kingdom and healing brings prosperity like in the first reading “prosperity over Jerusalem like a river” Isaiah 10:12.
The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name" (Luke 10:17). Jesus joined their enthusiasm, "I have observed Satan falling like lightning from the sky… Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:18&20).
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 9:1-6, we see Jesus sent the twelve with power and authority over all demons and diseases and sent seventy-two in the chapter 10:1-20 which is only in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus patterns his missionary effort on Moses (Numbers 11:24-26). Here Moses chose seventy elders and asked them to stand around the tent. God took some of the spirit that was on Moses and bestowed it on the seventy-two. But two men Eldad and Medad were in the tent and also received the spirit. The seventy-two bring Good News of hope and love to the people of whatever town they enter. They showed those people that evil is being defeated by curing the sick and liberating them from demons. The seventy-two returned with great joy and Jesus rejoices with them.
Who are the seventy-two today? We are seventy-two who are sent out to spread the Good News of love and hope. Jesus Christ has conquered evil through his passion, death, and resurrection. He is with us. He gave us the Sacrament of healing: Confession and Anointing, so we can receive the healing. Every time we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, he gives us nourishment and sends us out to proclaim the Good News. We can share the healing through prayer, forgiving each other, and being next to someone in need. Let us wish peace to one another. Let us be the one of the seventy-two.
Did you get a call?
Yes, we all got a call. The question is, how did we answer? This weekend’s readings are about God’s call and response with commitment.
In the first reading from the first book of Kings chapter 19, Elijah commissioned his successor, Elisha. The name Elijah means “the Lord is my God.” We see in chapter 18 Elijah called God and the fire came down and defeated pagan prophets and ordered them to kill according to the Mosaic Law. When Queen Jezebel heard the news, she was not happy. Fearing for his life under Jezebel’s threat, Elijah fled to the wilderness and prayed for natural death. God sent an angel to feed him, and he met God on Mount Horeb. And the reading for this weekend we see God asked Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor. Elijah has thrown his mantle over the shoulder of Elisha as a sign of choosing him as a servant. Elisha abandoned everything and followed Elijah. In the second book of Elijah 2:9, before Elijah’s death, he said to Elisha, “Request whatever I might do for you before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” While they were walking a fiery chariot and fiery horses came and took Elijah to heaven. Then Elisha succeeded in Elijah’s position and prophetic power.
The Gospel for this weekend is from Luke chapter 9, which is Jesus’ journey from Galilee to Jerusalem through Samaria. Samaritans and Jews hated each other from the time of Assyrian rule. Jews always went around the Samaria, but Jesus went through the Samaria. Jesus was a Jew, and the destination was Jerusalem, Samaritans were not ready to welcome him. James and John, sons of thunder, asked Jesus “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” We read in the first book of Kings 18:38, what Elijah had done in his day, calling the fire down to defeat the pagan prophets, and the second book of Kings 1:10 calling fire to kill King Ahaziah’s captain and company. But in the Gospel Jesus rejects the disciple’s desire to call the fire.
Jesus faces the rejection from the prospective disciple who wanted to postpone their commitment until a more convenient time. Jesus asks his followers a total commitment and detachment. All are called to imitate Christ. Throughout Jesus’ public ministry, he gave us examples of poverty. The spirit of poverty liberates human hearts and enables us to love God and one another. Jesus told the other one who came to follow, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” It sounds discouraging, but Jesus tells them they need of embracing poverty.
We are called to journey with the Lord. Jesus gave us the sacraments to give us grace and strength to make that journey. As mentioned last Sunday, the United States Bishop’s conference invites us to take time to relearn the Sacrament of Eucharist. Last Sunday, we had a Eucharistic procession. I would like to thank all those who took the time in the middle of the day to participate. It was a beautiful opportunity to adore the Lord and give public witness.
We will have other opportunities to learn and participate in adoration and learn in-depth about the Eucharist. FORMED.ORG is a very good tool for learning our faith. There is information in the bulletin and on the website. You can sit at home and watch videos on Eucharist. We all learned and need to refresh and relearn our faith. It is part of our call and journey. When you opened FORMED.ORG you can see a video called Presence. It is a wonderful resource to deepen our faith in Eucharist.
Happy Corpus Christi Sunday! Happy Father’s Day!
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers! Five weeks ago, we honored our moms. Today, on this Father's Day, we are doing the same, offering our dads – those who are with us or gone before us, or those who are like fathers in our life – on the altar of God during this Holy Mass, invoking our heavenly Father’s blessings on them. Fathers are a blessing, and we thank them for blessing us with their lives of dedication, endurance, and love. Happy Father’s Day!!
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ! The Eucharist is a great gift. The Bishops of the United States remind us of this truth by calling for Eucharistic Revival which is lunging on June 19, 2022, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body, and Body of Christ. The mission of this Revival is to renew the church by enkindling a living relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The vision of the Revival is a movement of Catholics across the United States who healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and sent on a mission to the life of the world. Bishop James Powers invites us to hold a Eucharistic Procession on the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. So, we are having a procession on Sunday, June 19 at 2:30 pm at Immaculate Conception, Butternut.
In the first reading from the book of Genesis, Melchizedek, king of Salem, appears to recognize Abraham’s great victory, which the five local kings were unable to achieve. He prepares a feast in his honor and declares him blessed or made powerful by God Most High, evidently the highest God in the Canaanite pantheon. Abraham acknowledges the blessing by giving a tenth of the recaptured spoils as a tithe to Melchizedek. We read this passage in Hebrews chapter 7 and it interprets Melchizedek as a prefiguration of Christ. The sacrifice offered by Abel, Abram, and Melchizedek are invoked in the Eucharistic prayer I (the Roman Canon): “Be pleased to look upon these offerings…and to accept them, as once you were pleased to accept the gift of your servant Abel the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek.”
The second reading from the first letter of St. Paul to Corinthians is the account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament. Paul quotes Jesus' words and says after the Body of Christ has been given, Jesus’ command is to “do this in memory of me” and after the cup, “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” The Old Covenant between God and Israel was sealed through the sacrificial blood at Mount Sinai, and the New Covenant between Christ and the Church is sealed through the blood of Christ.
Today the Gospel reading, the multiplication of loaves and fishes, a miracle foreshadows the institution of the Eucharist. In this scripture, the twelve asked Jesus to send these people away and he asked them to give some food themselves. Their reply was "Five loaves and two fish are all we have.” In a way they said, we don’t have much, but in Jesus' hands, it was plenty. When they gave what they had, a miracle took place. Jesus took the bread, looked up to heaven, said the blessing, and gave it to the disciples to give to the crowd. All had eaten and were satisfied.
I would like to share a story from my hospital ministry period. One Corpus Christi Sunday I was celebrating Mass in a hospital, a lady was sitting in a wheelchair in the center of the chapel. During the consecration, she started to cry. I made a conclusion in my mind that she might be in pain. After the Mass, I inquired of her, how she was doing. She told me that it was not tears of pain, but it was tears of joy. She was suffering for a long time; she had thoughts of committing suicide from time to time, but every time something intercepted her. She continued, that she was thinking about the reading and the homily and at the consecration, time was visualizing Jesus’s sacrifice. She said, her faith gave her the strength to live. She realizes that there is a purpose for her life. She said she may not have much to share, but in Jesus’ hand, it is plenty. God needs her for her husband and children. She said that day she felt her life is so meaningful. At the end of every Mass, we are sent out to break and share our life with others.
Holy Trinity Sunday!
Last weekend, we celebrated Pentecost. I would like to thank everyone who reads in different languages. A special thanks to everyone who helped and participated to celebrate the Centennial celebration of St. Anthony school and old Church. Thank you one and all.
The Sunday after Pentecost we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Trinity is a mystery, but Jesus makes it easier for us. Today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the relationship. Jesus says “Everything that the Father has is mine.” Also, he talks about the Holy Spirit. Trinity is a community of self-giving love; an intimate relationship. We are made to love as the Holy Trinity loved. We read in the book of Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God created us out of love. And we are called to love God. In Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.” The Holy Trinity is the model for us to love God and love one another.
A simple definition of Holy Trinity is One God subsists three-person. In the Gospel of Luke 1:26-38, God the Father sent the angel Gabriel to Mary and told her the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will conceive in her womb and bear a son, whom she will name Jesus. Luke 3:21-22, when Jesus, the Son, was baptized, the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove, and the voice of the Father came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased.” In the Gospel of John 15:26, at the Last Supper discourse Jesus says, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.” In the second Corinthians 13:13, St. Paul gives a beautiful greeting or blessing prayer, which proclaims the Holy Trinity. St. Paul encourages them to live in peace and love and asks them to greet each other with a holy kiss, and close with these words: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
The First reading from the book of Proverbs says the Wisdom is divine origin. And we know that wisdom is active in creation in the second person of the Holy Trinity and fully revealed in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The second reading from the Romans says that through faith one is justified. Reconciliation is God's gift to humanity. In the crucifixion of Jesus revealed God's love. And in the animating power of love, the Holy Spirit continues to guide us in our daily life.
A family is a simple form of community, it grows into church, different organizations and it grows into a wider community. We are invited to live in a community of love. Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others. We can call God our Father, Son Jesus “Immanuel” and the Holy Spirit to give “strength in our weakness.” Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
St. Anthony Daycare: Please join me to welcome our new director Stephanie Roy. She will be starting on June 13th. Please see below a short note from her.
Hello! My name is Stephanie Roy, and I will be joining the St. Anthony team as the new daycare
Director. I am very excited to meet everyone and learn all about your daycare and children! I was raised in Ashland, WI. I went to Technical College and graduated in 2016. I went on to work at Our Lady of the Lake Preschool for 3 years, before getting married to my husband Thomas and moving to River Falls, WI where we welcomed our son Dylan who is 1.5 years old! I worked as a Co-Lead Teacher in an infant room for the past 2.5 years which was a dream. My husband and I recently bought a house in Park Falls and made the move to be closer to our friends and families again!
I enjoy spending time with my family and dog Luna, going on walks, yoga, and finding beach glass and rocks for my collection. I have always absolutely loved children and Early Childhood Education is my passion, as the first 5 years are the most important and impactful! This will be my first time as a Director so all I ask is that you are patient and understanding as I learn the ropes and get settled into my new spot. I am more than excited to get to know the children and families I will be working with. I hope to create a positive experience with each and every one of you and look forward to being a part of St. Anthony’s Daycare!
Have a blessed day!
Mrs. Stephanie Roy
Happy Pentecost! Happy 100th Anniversary and Feast of St. Anthony!
Saturday, June 4th, the weekend of Pentecost we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of St. Anthony School building and old church, now known as Holy Dom and Feast of St. Anthony. When we look back we can see so many blessings God has showered upon us through our forefathers. Let us give thanks for the many blessings. At the same time, in this historical moment of our parish and cluster, we need to ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit to move forward. Let us listen to Him.
We are celebrating Pentecost Sunday. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, the advocate. After 50 days of Easter, we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means fifty.
The Jews celebrated the feast of Pentecost fifty days after the Passover. Originally it was an agricultural feast (Leviticus 23:15-17) and later giving of the law at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-20). Now we celebrate the new Pentecost after the fifty days of Jesus' resurrection. When God came to Mount Sinai, there was fire and a loud sound with trumpet blasts. In the new Pentecost, there was a mighty wind, and tongues of fire came over to the Apostles.
We can see the presence of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of the Bible. In the Book of Genesis (1:2) we read, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the earth.” In 2:7 we read, “The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” The Gospel of John 20:21 & 22, Jesus after the resurrection appeared to the disciples and said, “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.” In the book of Genesis, we see the first creation of man, and in the Gospel of John we see the recreation.
One of the readings for the Vigil Mass is from the book of Genesis 11:1-9 which gives the background for the understanding of Pentecost as a reversal of Babel. The word babel means confused voice(s). The story of the Tower of Babel tells us that the sinful pride of the human beings separate them from God and to show their pride they decided to build the tower to touch the sky. They all spoke the same language, but God confused them and that prevented them from building the tower. At the Pentecost, however, even though there were people from many nations, they overcame the language barrier. All of them were able to understand each other. The Christian tradition views Pentecost as the undoing of the Tower of Babel, and the reunification of the human family through the mission and witness of the apostolic Church.
Reading from the book of Joel (3:1-5) he anticipates that the Lord will someday renew faith with the divine spirit. In Acts 2:17–21, Peter addresses the people and in his address he cites Joel’s words to suggest that the newly constituted Christian community, filled with divine life and power, inaugurates the Lord’s Day, understood as salvation for all who believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.
We received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and strengthened the Sacrament of Confirmation by the laying of hands. Anointing of the Holy Spirit takes place in us when we eagerly are asking for it. Sometimes we may attempt to think, it is for the saintly people. Anointing of the Holy Spirit is for all of us to grow in holiness. Jesus promised apostles an advocate, a helper. When they received the Holy Spirit, it changed their life, they got out of the fear. They went out to the street and proclaimed the Good News. Today, we are sent out to proclaim the good news. It may be our homes, our neighborhood, workplace, and so on. Suppose, you didn't see your neighbor at the Mass, do you feel the need to call? Maybe I have to rephrase that question, “do you miss them?” Pentecost reminds us that we need to ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us to reach out to others because we are sent out to evangelize the Good News.