Dear St. Gabriel Parishioners:
… Happy Presidents Day …
This long weekend helps us to celebrate and remember the birthday and the lives of our first President, George Washington and others like Abraham Lincoln, … … and the blessing of our country that come with such unique time in history. This special day is observed on Monday, February 21.
In this 7th Week in Ordinary Time, our First Reading is from (2 Samuel 26) tells the story of jealousy between King Saul and the anointed David. Why is Saul chasing David to kill him? David has slain Goliath and is celebrated for his great military deeds. Saul sees the people singing that while he has killed some of their enemies, David has killed ten times that number. Saul is jealous and fearful that David will become king. In an earlier part of this story, Saul had thrown his spear at David while David was playing the harp; he missed, but David had to flee. Saul has been searching all around for David, but in these readings, we hear David finding Saul and showing Saul a new form of mercy. The compassion or mercy or forgiveness is more than meets the ear here.
The Gospel continues Luke’s Sermon on the Level. Luke’s four beatitudes are fleshed out and made more particular in these verses. They center generally around the areas of how the follower of Jesus can reverse the natural tendencies towards greed, harshness of judgement, mercilessness and vengeance. These elements form quite an exact picture of our fallen-nature’s way.
The real challenge is for Jesus hearers to be compassionate as God is compassionate with them. This is the heart of the message. If there is going to be any “good” in the Good News, there must be a previous awareness and acceptance of the “bad” news. The Savior has come to save us; this is the Good News. The “bad” news is that we have a fallen, vengeful, harsh, judgmental, greedy and severe nature. We did not have to learn these qualities from a book or teacher. They are known before we know our own names. The Savior is the teacher here and instructs us on how to enjoy true happiness now and in a then which is to come.
The Lenten Season will be in 10 days; while we are mindful of this coming special Season soon, let’s pray for the following three groups of people making an extra journey.
Please, keep the Catechumens and Candidates for Full Communion (RCIA) in your prayer as they are preparing for the Rite of Election for our Olympic Deanery with our Archbishop Étienne on Saturday, March 5 at Holy Trinity Parish.
Please, keep our high-school Candidates for Confirmation in your prayer as they’re preparing for being “Fully Initiated in the Catholic Church” through the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Easter Season.
Last, but not least, please keep our second-graders are also preparing for their First Holy Communion in the Easter Season.
In preparation for the Lenten Soup “take home” for Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent after Stations of the Cross (with still Covid-19 restriction, we won’t be able to eat together at the Community Room), please fill out a form at the main entrance and return to a basket next to this form. This process will help the different groups who will be responsible for Lenten Soup Nights to prepare for our parish needs. Thank You.
Fr. Phuong Hoang