Second Sunday of Lent
In Lent, we enter into a journey of conversion. Through prayer, almsgiving, good works and fasting, we prepare ourselves to celebrate and to encounter the Risen Lord at Easter. In today’s first reading and Gospel, we have two instances of human beings contemplating the wonder of the divine through the gift of sight. For Abram, who God had called saying, “Go forth from your land, your relatives and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you”, the innumerable stars in the night’s sky are the sign of his creator’s ability to bring light from darkness and fulfill even seemingly impossible promises. God’s instruc- tion to Abram, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can,” comes in response to Abram’s anguished cry, “Look you have given me no offspring.” Abram is seeing from a human limited perspective. Though God has promised to make his name great, he and his wife are elderly and childless. How can his name be great if he has no heir to carry it on? But God’s sight is not like ours. Where we might be tempted to see only barriers and obstacles, God calls us to look beyond. In turning his gaze to the stars, Abram’s eyes are trained to focus on the limitless expansion of God’s creation, a creation that he is invited to be a part of, even though that creation is unknowable, uncontrollable and defies quantification. In the Gospel reading, Peter, John, and James are also treated to a revelation of God’s glory in the Transfiguration. On the mountain, in prayer, Jesus is transformed from the humble preacher and wonderworker they had come to know, to a man clothed in “dazzling white” who converses with Moses and Elijah. Inside of a cloud, they hear the words: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him”. Peter, James and John are each offered glimpses into the divine life of God. When Abram wakes up the next morning, the stars he gazed at in wonder will no longer be visi- ble. As Peter, James and John make their way down the mountain; they are accompanied by their friend Jesus no longer remarkable in his clothing or conversation partners. And yet, we know the stars remain even when we cannot see them. And Jesus, whether he is found in a manger as a vulnerable infant, resplendent on the mountain top, or nailed to the wood of the cross, is always the Son of God. In our spiritual lives, we might intend to live as children of the light, but unless we have eyes to see and ears to hear God working in our midst, we miss the opportunity to live in the fullness of life which Jesus promises to his disciples. Poet Brian Doyle wrote in A Book of Uncommon Prayer, “We are handed miracles beyond number, every blessed moment, if only we can train ourselves to open and see and hear and taste and feel and smell and absorb them.” As we journey towards the joy of Easter, may our eyes be opened to the glory of God present all around us. May we recommit with our whole hearts to seek a glimpse of the divine hope that empowers us and may we look beyond today to the glory of tomorrow.
– Fr. Bala
PLEASE NOTE: FATHER BALA'S EMAIL ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED!
If you receive a suspicious email from Father Bala please contact the parish office (707) 257-2555, There is an ongoing investigation, and a copy of the email should be provided to Nini at the parish office. Please note: any and all donations will always come through the weekend collection or the parish office.
A BRIEF PERSONAL INTRODUCTION
I was born and raised in southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. I did all my academic and seminary education in India. I was ordained as a priest on February 7, 1977. I worked in the Diocese of Guntur starting off as a parochial Vicar and became a staff member at the seminary. For almost 16 years, I worked at the Chancery - as Secretary to the Bishop, Chancellor and Procurator (Financial Administrator) of the diocese. I was also the first priest in the region to do a four year course in Indian Classical (Carnatic) Vocal Music.
From 1999 through 2001, I did a Licentiate in the Institutional Communications at “Santa Croce”, the Pontifical Holy Cross University run by ‘Opus Dei’ Congregation in Rome, Italy. I moved to the United States and worked in the Archdiocese of San Francisco from 2002 to 2010.
I started my ministry in Santa Rosa Diocese from October 2010 as the Parochial Administrator of St. Aloysius Parish in Point Arena. In July 2014 I was appointed Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Arcata, which has a mission church in Blue Lake. From July 2015 until July 2017 I was given additional responsibilities as Dean of Humboldt & Del Norte Counties, Pastor of Christ the King Parish, McKinleyville, with its mission in Trinidad, Pastor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Mission in Hoopa, and Pastor of the HSU Newman Center, Arcata.
I currently serve as the member of the Diocesan Finance Council, and a Trustee of the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) of the diocese.
I have begun my first week ministry in your midst. I am indeed happy to be one among you. As your pastor, I feel honored and privileged to work with you and for you. We are all co-responsible in building the Kingdom of God here and now. May Our Heavenly Mother Mary lead us all to Her Son, Jesus Christ!
St. Apollinaris, Pray for us!
PHOTOS FROM OUR JUNE 3 PARISH CORPUS CHRISTI PROCESSION
Photographs from our Saint Apollinaris parish Corpus Christi Procession can be viewed online here.
WESTERN RELIGION AND SCIENCE - DR. ALLAMANDOLA
Dr. Allamandola's Third Saturday Faith and Culture talk on "Western Religion and Science" is available online here."Jesus loves us so much that He constantly renews His work of Redemption.
HOW TO TEACH OUR KIDS TO LOVE THE FAITH - FREE MP3
Audio file from Steve Ray's Friday night talk (November 16) available here.
SWIMMING UPSTREAM: LIVING A CATHOLIC LIFE IN A NON-CHRISTIAN WORLD - FREE MP3
Audio file from Steve Ray's Saturday morning talk (November 17) available here.
APPRECIATION LETTER TO ALL WHO HELPED DURING THE FIRES AND EVACUATIONS
"Dear Parishioners, On Monday, October 9th after the 8:45 am Mass there were a few of us ..." ? PDF
Your Parochial Vicar
Fr. David Jenuwine, Parochial Vicar
GRACE AND THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - AVAILABLE ONLINE
Fr. David's talk on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is available online here.
HOLY DAYS, SOLEMNITIES, FEASTS - WHAT'S IT ALL MEAN?
This is a bulletin insert explaining the ranking of liturgical days. You can view the file here. PDF
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT ALL THE LAYERS OF VESTMENTS THE PRIEST WEARS ARE ABOUT?
Each of the vestments has a history, a meaning, and a prayer associated with it. Click here for a handy PDF guide (suitable for coloring, too!) detailing the names, meaning, and prayer for each of the items a priest wears during Mass.