Pastor's Page 2019-07-21
Jul 22, 2019
- Summer indeed is here now; not only as days in the sequence of calendar counting but in reality, and somewhat beautiful weather. I hope you do enjoy this special time refreshing and engaging in joyful activities.
- Today's first reading from Genesis 18:1-10 presents Abraham as the model of the generous and hospitable In the charming biblical story, Abraham and Sarah welcomed the messengers of God with opened arms at the oaks of Mamre. The strangers at Mamre (who we know are God and angels) come to dinner to deliver a message: God promises Abraham and Sarah that the barren will rejoice.
Mary of Bethany, disciple of the Lord, has chosen the most important thing required in welcoming others -- her presence and full attention -- so that it is her guest who shines. Martha and Mary stand forever as symbols of the two modes of life between which we continually oscillate. Activity can become a shield against facing issues and questions and truths which must be allowed to surface if we are to survive. There are times when we simply must contemplate, must step back, must think, if we are to be capable of returning to meaningful activity.
The key of the Gospel story is not found in the tension of activity versus passivity, but in receptivity. The one necessity in welcoming others into one's home or community is being present to them -- listening to what they have to say -- as Mary does in today's Gospel.
Here are some meaningful questions to reflect upon this week:
- How do I (we) practice hospitality?
- What are the signs of a hospitable community?
- What are the enemies of hospitality?
- How can we become more hospitable?
- Do I (we) really love other human beings?
- Summer activities in our parish are also reminding us with program for children in Summer Vacation Bible School and for Youth Program with Summer Mission Trip.
Vacation Bible School at St. Gabriel Parish is open for children this coming week: From Monday July 22 to Friday July 26. The schedule each day begins with - 5:30 PM (optional dinner for kids and families) and 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM (program for the day). For more information, please call Religious Education Office (360) 876-2834.
Summer Mission Trip – our High School Youth Group has completed a week of Mission work with other Youth Groups in Burlington, Washington last week. There were a lot of hand-on experiences from farming to serving people in needs. Like the Gospel story last week, our Youth Group was sent out for Mission to live and spread the Good News of Jesus. They now have a lot of stories to share with friends, family and parishioners.
- REMEMBER … Both upstairs’ bathrooms will begin renovating on July 29 … For these following weeks, please use the downstairs’ bathrooms. Thank You.
- Also, remember to mark your calendar for an early parish annual picnic which will be on Sunday, August 25th after the 11:00 AM Mass.
Fr. Phuong Hoang