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Engaging the Word: 05/24/2015

My parents live on a lake in northern Minnesota. Burntside Lake is about 10,000 acres and dotted with rocky islands covered in pines.

One of those islands has a small cliff that drops straight into the water. Well, I suppose it’s not really much of a cliff. It’s probably only about 20 feet. But when you’re standing atop that ledge, it looks pretty far down to the water.

Standing there, thinking about jumping into the water, one wonders what finally makes one take the plunge.

Slightly less dramatic — perhaps you know the feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning when you don’t have to go in to work or to school, and you’re lying there in bed thinking about things. Thinking about yesterday, thinking about tomorrow, thinking about the list of things you need to do today. What finally prompts you to make that move to get up and get started?

Now, it’s Pentecost, and no I’m not sure that I’m suggesting that it’s the Holy Spirit that gets you up out of bed in the morning or prompts you to jump from a cliff into a cold lake, but I do think it tells us something about the way are fashioned, fashioned in the image of God, our own little Trinity of imaginations, the actions that fully receive and speak those imaginations, and the mystical animating spark that connects them.

Now the funny thing about it is, that little animating spark in others can animate us as well.  Maybe it’s the memory of a parent’s work ethic that moves us to get the day started, or perhaps it’s a younger sibling’s courage that prompts us to leap from the cliff.

Now, Jesus had that spark too, and the rightness of the good news he was prompted to share convinced his closest followers and others that he was united to God in a special way —  was the Christ.

Jesus’ message in a way was quite simple – repent and believe the good news: the kingdom of God is at hand. The way things ought to be is as close as your next move, and you’ve got the power to make the right next move. Accepting that truth makes the blind see, the lame walk, and sets captives free.  Accepting that good news, that Gospel, radically changes lives for the better. It doesn’t eliminate suffering, but it can transform it and make the good times even richer. As the followers of Jesus lived the good news he preached, they found themselves stepping into eternal life with God in time.

But then Jesus went away, and his disciples froze.

One of my favorite lines in Scripture is in the reading from Acts used on the feast of the Ascension: “Men of Galilee, why are you looking up at the sky?” If you read on, they go from looking at the sky to sitting in a room in Jerusalem looking at one another. In John’s account that he just heard, we find them in that room right away. Frozen in that room, Jesus delivered a spark that hit them. Overcome by the Holy Spirit they realized that the good news of freedom and love was still the good news and that it needed to be proclaimed. They realized too that that spark to proclaim it proceeded from the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of their friend and teacher Jesus and that this Paschal mystery verified the Gospel.

And so they went out, and they preached the good news, a universal gospel of freedom and love that speaks the language of the heart, human and divine.

Now, we humans in time don’t experience disembodied spirits on their own. We know our spark is there when we actually get out of bed or leap from the cliff. It’s in action that we come to know the spark in others.

And so Jesus, in his wisdom, left us with an embodiment of his spark. On the night before he suffered, on the night of the Last Supper, he took bread, blessed it and broke it and said “This is my body.” And he took wine and sharing it with them said, “This is my blood.”

How fitting a way to remain, by means of a community gathered around bread and wine, fruit of the field and work of human hands. Wheat and grapes require sunlight and soil and cultivation. Bread and wine must be made. The human and divine cooperation required to make what nourishes and delights is at the heart of the good news.

When the community of believers in that good news gathers with bread and wine and looks into it and carries on that tradition that was begun the night of the Last Supper, we see no longer bread and wine but Jesus, and in community, together, remember what he taught his friends and are nourished to live it.

Let’s pray that in our Thanksgiving today, in our Eucharist, that we are sparked to believe that the Holy Spirit is alive in us, individually and collectively.  That faith in God’s love for us, that our hope for the kingdom, and our courage to act in love is renewed.

The human and divine spirit of Jesus is alive and among us — if we are stuck looking up into the sky or have locked ourselves in a room hidden away, let’s move, let’s start living the good news of freedom and love and proclaim the Gospel by our lives.

1st Reading: Acts 2: 1-11 ~  Responsorial: Psalms 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7 ~  Gospel: John 20: 19-23

 

 

 



Coming This Summer: Body, Mind & Soul Camps!

Everest
We are excited to announce the schedule for the 2015 Body, Mind & Soul camps! This year, the theme is “Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power” and students aged 6-14 years old will be treated to the COOLEST week of the summer! Featuring amazing experiments, glacier games, lip smacking snacks, surprising adventures and Lakota stories, teachings and games. Lunch and snack provided daily.

If you know a student on the Rosebud between the ages of 6 – 14 would like to attend, check out the schedule below and call Jenny at 747-2436 or stop by the Religious Ed building or SFM Admin bldg. to pick up an application!


SCHEDULE 2015

Starting at 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily
June 1-5 Parmelee (St. Agnes 10 a.m-3 p.m.)
June 8-12 St. Francis (Icimani Bldg)
June 15-19 Rosebud (St. Bridget’s hall)
June 22-26 Mission (Fr. Paul Hall)
June 29-July 3 Spring Creek (blue religious ed. bldg.)

The Body, Mind, and Soul camps are sponsored by the St. Francis Mission Religious Education Program. The St. Francis Mission and SFM Religious Ed. Program is not responsible for accidents, thefts, or injuries.



Board of Directors Meets

The St. Francis Mission Board of Directors recently met at the Mission for their annual meeting. The board consists of local and national Lakota and Catholic leaders who help direct the course of the Mission, providing guidance and oversight. They meet regularly at the Mission, and hear from our staff at these meetings about their great accomplishments at the Mission.

At the latest meeting, we had a ceremony honoring Linda Bordeaux, whose term was up on the board of directors, and we gave both Linda and Larry Lucas Star Quilts as appreciation. The Star Quilt is a traditional Lakota quilt pattern, and they are given in appreciation for service, to acknowledge special events and mark anniversaries. We have many on display on the Buechel Memorial Museum and for sale at the store.

Thanks to our Board for helping us move forward!



First Communion Congratulations!

We celebrated First Communion mass with our latest First Communion class! It was a joyous day and we congratulate all those who made their First Communion! Here are some pictures from Mass!



Engaging the Word: 05/10/2015

It seems to be a particular trait of human beings that we struggle to find meaning, to make sense of things. Certainly we have instincts, but they do not absolutely govern us; we choose to follow them or not. We are always seeking the logic of things so we can decide how to respond to the circumstance in which we find ourselves. We look for the power behind the world we experience. Is the power fire? Is the power lightening and thunder? Is the power the sea? Is the power contained in and revealed by statuary of human construction? Is the power in in the dominant or eloquent among us? There was something about Peter that caught the attention of Cornelius, something about Peter that prompted Cornelius to fall down at his feet and pay Peter homage. I would suggest that it was he joy of the Gospel present in Peter that caught his eye and caused Cornelius to see Peter as the power. Peter’s humble response that he was not the power, however, revealed the truth, put things in perspective so that Cornelius too could receive the Good News. At once the Spirit was released.

When we live the joy of the Gospel we attract attention. When we humbly share the Good News, its power captivates those who receive it, and the Spirit makes a home among the body of Christ, enabling a new song to be sung to the Lord.

So what is the Good News? The Good News is that God is love and that we are created in the image of God and endowed with freedom so that we too are capable of true love. Central to this Good News is the recognition of our freedom. Only in knowing our freedom can we choose to abandon selfishness and ingratitude, our failures to love, and then turn to receive and share the love of God.

We are made by Love and for Love. Only in loving and remaining in love will our joy be complete.

1st Reading: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48 ~  Responsorial: Psalms 98: 1-4

2nd Reading: 1 John 4: 7-10 ~  Gospel: John 15: 9-17

 



SFM Youth Group: Mother’s Day Prep!

The SFM Youth group met today on Sunday and we shared a lot of fellowship, learning and activities! The group first had a lesson on the Ten Commandments, and we discussed Mother’s Day! We’d like to give a BIG Thank you to Margaret, one of the Jesuit Volunteers for helping with our day!

Because Mothers’ Day is coming up, we did something special for their mothers and guardians! Following that, the group ate some pizza for lunch and then we went to the Digmann Hall for some basketball, volleyball, and frisbee!

The group will meet once more this month, then we won’t meet again until July! However, the Mission will have Body, Mind, and Soul camps starting in June! Look for more information on the camps and our other activities this summer coming soon!



Engaging the Word: Sunday, May 3rd

1st Reading: Acts 9: 26-31
Responsorial: Psalms 22: 26-28, 30-32
2nd Reading: 1 John 3: 18-24
Gospel: John 15: 1-8

The simple message of the Gospel of Jesus keeps appearing and reappearing in the readings selected for Mass. In the reading from Acts we hear how Saul, a persecutor of the Church, stopped, turned around, and stepped into the Kingdom. We hear too that when he showed up in Jerusalem to present himself to the disciples they were skeptical. Actions speak louder than words, and his past actions spoke pretty loudly that he was a dangerous character. Barnabas took his side, however, and challenged the apostles to believe the Good News that people can change. Saul went on to become Paul, one of the most successful Christian missionaries of all time because he preached not only with his words but in that he gave witness to the Gospel by his own conversion and new life.

In the reading from the first letter of John we are reminded to love “in deed and truth.” Love is active; it’s not just something to think about or feel, but something to do. One of the amazing things about God is that in God word and deed are one in the same. Jesus is the Word of God, but Jesus is not just an idea or a concept but a living person; the Word of God is active. We need to strive for the integrity of Jesus so that all our intentions, actions, and inspirations are in union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In our baptism we re-ceived the freedom to love in the realization that we are made in the image of the Trinity and capable of aligning our imaginations with the imagination of God, aligning our actions with the actions of God, and aligning our spirits with the Spirit of God.

All this is Good News, but our reading from the Gospel of John admonishes us in two ways. First we cannot do it alone; we need to remain connected to the community and to Christ. Second, John reiterates that it’s about fruitfulness; we are called to co-create with God in love. As we continue our celebration of Easter, let’s rejoice in the Good News and really live it, uniting our thoughts, actions, and inspirations with our loving God and living and loving to the full.



SFM Youth Group Meets on Sunday!

The SFM Youth group will meet on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Religious Ed/CYO bldg in Rosebud. We will have a meeting, lunch & games.

The youth group is open to youth ages 10-18 years. We encourage and invite all youth to participate. If you have any questions, please call Jenny at 747-2436 or 828-1082.



Engaging the Word: 05/03/2015

The simple message of the Gospel of Jesus keeps appearing and reappearing in the readings selected for Mass.  In the reading from Acts we hear how Saul, a persecutor of the Church, stopped, turned around, and stepped into the Kingdom.  We hear too that when he showed up in Jerusalem to present himself to the disciples they were skeptical.  Actions speak louder than words, and his past actions spoke pretty loudly that he was a dangerous character.  Barnabas took his side, however, and challenged the apostles to believe the Good News that people can change.  Saul went on to become Paul, one of the most successful Christian missionaries of all time because he preached not only with his words but in that he gave witness to the Gospel by his own conversion and new life.

In the reading from the first letter of John we are reminded to love “in deed and truth.”  Love is active; it’s not just something to think about or feel, but something to do.  One of the amazing things about God is that in God word and deed are one in the same.  Jesus is the Word of God, but Jesus is not just an idea or a concept but a living person; the Word of God is active.  We need to strive for the integrity of Jesus so that all our intentions, actions, and inspirations are in union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In our baptism we received the freedom to love in the realization that we are made in the image of the Trinity and capable of aligning our imaginations with the imagination of God, aligning our actions with the actions of God, and aligning our spirits with the Spirit of God.

All this is Good News, but our reading from the Gospel of John admonishes us in two ways.  First we cannot do it alone; we need to remain connected to the community and to Christ.  Second, John reiterates that it’s about fruitfulness; we are called to co-create with God in love.  As we continue our celebration of Easter, let’s rejoice in the Good News and really live it, uniting our thoughts, actions, and inspirations with our loving God and living and loving to the full.

1st Reading: Acts 9: 26-31 ~  Responsorial: Psalms 22: 26-28, 30-32

2nd Reading: 1 John 3: 18-24 ~  Gospel: John 15: 1-8

 



Engaging the Word: April 26th

Readings:
1st Reading: Acts 4: 8-12
Responsorial: Psalms 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26-29
2nd Reading: 1 John 3: 1-2
Gospel: John 10: 11-18

Today’s readings are giving us a message of salvation through Jesus- the stone which was rejected but is now the cornerstone. Thus, although we may reject Jesus’ teachings and his message throughout our lives, he is still our path to salvation. Jesus himself said this in his shepherd parable.

He is like a shepherd who will not abandon a single one of his sheep. When we sin or ignore God’s mes-sage, we are a sheep knowingly leaving God’s love and walking towards the wolf. It may seem ridiculous that we would purposely walk towards a wolf, but everyone has sinned and turned away from God at some point in their lives. We have put money or temporary happiness over the richness of God’s love. The things we put above God are like the wolf. Now, a shepherd would usually leave one sheep to be eaten to save the rest but not Jesus. He will always come back for us if we have faith in Him.

The second reading today really hammers home this hopeful message. We are God’s children as revealed by Jesus! We can walk towards many wolves, but Jesus will always help us find our way home. Indeed, we are called to be like Jesus and help our brothers and sisters find their way home. In this way, Jesus has saved all human beings (and revealed how we can help save ourselves).