- World Mission Sunday is celebrating this weekend October 17 & 18, We are called to this Eucharistic celebration – along with Catholics in every parish and the whole church through the world – to fulfill the call we first heard at Baptism, the call to be missionaries, to share our faith. “Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time, a passion for his people” Pope Francis said in his Pentecost remark.
Let us pray especially at this Mass for all people who long to hear the hope-filled, saving message of Jesus, and for the priests, religious and lay catechists in mission countries worldwide who offer them that “Good News”. Please be generous in your giving to the World Mission Sunday collection in this weekend.
- In today’s Gospel (Matthew 22:15-21), the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Pharisees try once again to entrap Jesus in his speech. In asking Jesus the question, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” They acknowledge that Jesus is qualified to explain the Torah. The specific tax described in today’s Gospel is a head or poll tax required of every man, woman, and slave. It amounted to a denarius, that is, one day’s wages. The Pharisees resisted the poll tax, while the Herodians openly supported the Romans and favored payment of the tax. Jesus was certainly aware of the hidden agenda behind this question, and he understood the challenge before him.
Two images are before us: that of Caesar and that of God. To the first image Jesus asks a simple question: “Whose picture is on the coin?” and the answer is simple, “Caesar”. Therefore, give to Caesar what belongs to him; that is the part of your possession that belongs to him.
But Jesus also has a second deeper question: “Whose image and blessing is on every human being?” And the answer is simple, “God’s”. Therefore, give to God what belongs to God; that is your entire being, whole and undivided.
- A “Big Word of THANK” to the Legion of Mary members and Parish Staff, who have helped coordinate the tradition of “The Living Rosary” in our parish last Saturday, October 17 at 1:00 PM in this unusual year. Our unique St. Gabriel’s Parking Lot setting, gathered around the outdoor Marian Statue’s Garden (including livestreamed) for this event is a way that worked for our parish community in observing social distancing and keeping everyone safe.
Also, on Wednesday, October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, our two parishes of St. Gabriel and Prince of Peace, had joined in solidarity with our Archbishop Etienne and Archbishop Gomez, president of the USCCB (U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops), for this National Prayer Day to unite Catholics across the country for America at this time when there is so much unrest and uncertainty.
Thank you ALL, who took the time to participate in our local event and joined in the national event the last few weeks. May the “month of the Rosary” continue to help us to pray always (pray without ceasing and persistence in prayer) as the Lord Jesus commanded.
- Also, a “Big Word of THANK” to ALL parishioners who have given the “Gift of Faith” on Giving Weekend, last week, for the CALLED TO SERVE AS CHRIST – Archdiocesan Campaign. Many THANKS, also, for ALL Volunteers from both of our parishes and parish staff who have dedicate your valuable time for this effort. All of you deserve a great gratitude of Thanks from our Priests, religious Sisters and our Archdiocese, as they continue to work tirelessly for the local Church and people of God.
If you have not able to give on Giving Weekend last week, please, make your “Gift of Faith” with the envelop provided by the mailing from Archbishop Etienne or giving online on the parish website or the Campaign website: https://www.calledtoserveaschrist.org/
This campaign is to provide long-term funding for retirement and medical needs of priests and women religious, as well as support of individual parishes. A successful campaign will allow the Archdiocese to:
- Establish a stronger position to provide a consistent, appropriate retirement for priests by moving from a pay-as-you-go system to a fully-funded model for priest pension and medical plans.
- Increase the ability of women religious orders to care for their senior members while continuing their ministry to God’s people.
- Give parishes more resources for their local ministries, services, works and programs.
- Lead by example in prayer, action, and generosity.
- Reinforce a dynamic faith for the next generation of Catholics in Western Washington.
Finally, please, pray this “Campaign Prayer” as we conclude in Gratitude and Thanksgiving:
Good and gracious God, from the very beginning you have built, blessed, and guided this local Church.
We give you thanks for the thousands of men and women who have given their lives in faithful service to the Church in Western Washington as priests and vowed religious.
They answered your call to serve as Christ served, and by your grace they have helped to grow and strengthen your family of faith.
Give us a spirit of gratitude and generosity as we answer your call in our day to provide for our priests and sisters.
May we always follow the footsteps of your Son, Jesus, who is ever in our midst as one who serves. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Phuong Hoang