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Daily Tweet Archive

WEDNESDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 27, 2020

 

Saint Gabriel’s is praying again as a Church
There is daily Mass but according to a different schedule.
This is temporary until we can have our regular Sunday gatherings

 

So temporarily our seven day Mass Schedule is:

The bishops have extended the Lord’s Day obligation to all seven days.
Unless we spread out our attendance during the week, you may find the church “full” on Sunday (the Vigil Mass too) and unable to get into the building because of the distancing and seating restrictions. Please plan ahead to come a different day.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

The Ascension of the Lord is the summation of our Easter Joy.

Easter Sunday was only the beginning of the unveiling of all that the Lord gives us in raising Jesus from the dead.

Therefore let us take another look at the word of God for last Sunday and the revelation of the joy to which God has been leading us. It will also open up for us the power of his love in the coming Feast of Pentecost.

 

 

Here is an extended commentary on the scriptures for the Feast of Ascension.

Acts 1:1-11
While the Apostles looked on, Jesus ascended his throne.

For a long time we have learned that when we listen to a scripture passage we constantly question whether we have God speaking of this in other parts of the Bible. It is amazing how frequently this occurs to our delight and the revelations God is consistently giving us as a reward for listening closely to his word. We take delight in this and should. As our mind wanders as we hear an echo of what has gone before some of our earlier understanding of his word is replaced by a more profound grasp of his mystery and a corresponding greater joy at the magnificence of God’s wisdom and love.

The Ascension of Christ in many ways is not new, not because we have heard it every year on this feast but because the word of God is working within us drawing closer and closer to fullness of life he has promised us. Here are a few words from this reading that stand out: forty days, kingdom of God, Holy Spirit, men of Galilee, God disappeared when the cloud was taken from their sight… Let us see how good our memories are.

FORTY DAYS — forty days in the desert in Old Testament times in preparation of entering the Promised Land; Jesus’ forty days in the desert in preparation for his public ministry; for forty days Jesus instructed his disciples on the mission he entrusted to them of going to all the world.

KINGDOM OF GOD — Jesus began his ministry by preaching the kingship of God; the psalms seat the Lord on his kingly throne in heaven; the “three kings” come adore the new-born king of the Jews; the placard above Jesus on the cross read Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews; Old Testament prophecy that the kings of the earth will all and worship the one King of heaven and earth.

BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT — Jesus told of being baptized by water and the Spirit; John the Baptist compared his water baptism to the baptism in the Spirit by the coming Messiah; Pentecost would reveal to the world that the disciples of Jesus were immersed in God’s Sprit.

MEN OF GALILEE — the Jewish leaders disparaged the Apostles as unlearned men who came from Galilee; the men of Galilee in today’s passage show an outstanding wisdom and love of God in their following of Christ both before and after his resurrection.

CLOUD TAKEN FROM THEIR SIGHT — the cloud representing God was on Mount Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration — a good way to speak of the spiritual God who speaks to us through the scriptures.

All these scripture references come from Luke’s Ascension account. How they and God’s word throughout the Bible enrich our understanding of the Mystery of our Lord’s “ascending.” How little we knew in our early years when we pictured the ascension as nothing more that Jesus rising above the earth out of our sight — flying so to speak.

 

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

One of the faith statements associated with the Ascension of the Lord is that he is now seated at the right hand of the Father. This is an expression of God the Father sitting on his royal throne as King of all his creation and that he has given his Son raised to glory to sit in kingly fashion tohis right. This imagery takes us back to the coronation ceremony of the Israelite.  kings. This psalm fits into that mode. A closer examination reveals some noteworthy details. Even though there were earthly kings of Israel the Lord Yahweh, maker of the Covenant, was the actual King of his people. The earthly king was representative of God as King among his people. So this psalm is based on that fact and the praise of the King was an acclamation of God as King and on this Feast the kingship of the Christ is being acknowleged as well. In a true sense this is the Feast of Christ the King. An added aspect of Christ’s sharing in the kingship of his Father was that he is King ot just of the Israelite people but of all peoples in the world. He is the King of the “nations.” This is behind Jesus saying preach the Gospel to all the world. So the psalm says: All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness. So the extent of the kingship of the risen Lord reaches to the ends of the earth until the end of time. No one is exempt from the rule of the Christ of glory. All the world is to give glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Son’s Spirit.

All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.

 God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.

 For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.

Collect

Lord God, in your almighty power and love, we beg of you to give us the gift of your sacred joy as we offer you thanks as a sign of our religious devotion to you. This day in raising your Son to your right hand in glory as Head of his body, the Church, you afford us the undying hope that whither the Head has gone, we, his body, will follow.

 

The teachings of the Church on her role as the Mystical Body of Christ is more than a nice theological theory. It is actively going on and we are prat of it. It has meaning for everyday life. It is taking place right now. We are never separated from Christ and his body, the Church. So this Gathering Prayer at Mass is about what is taking place in the Eucharistic banquet. These Collect Prayers are not in the middle of nowhere. They really have a powerful significance as the Body of Christ is gathered with Christ its Head. It is a true “communion” throughout the Mass. That is why being at Mass and participating in it is such a wonderful gift left to us by Christ so that our communion with him can be seen and realized as a source of his saving blessings.

Through the divine power of the Father, then, Christ’s action really touches us and becomes a great joy for us so that we give thanks to God for being so loving and great. There is a divine promise contained in what Christ is doing for us at Mass that we become of people of hope. That hope is ours that some day we shall be with Christ is in heaven. That hope comes from the time spent in communion with Christ during this celebration.

 

Ephesians 1:17-23
God made his Son sit at his right as coregent

 

The Ascension of the Christ does not just concern what the Father has done for him but included in raising Jesus to his right hand are we, his followers, the Church. The Ascending of Jesus means we have a “mission” from him. We are forever associated with him in glory and have been sent forth to bring the Good News to all mankind. The body of Christ, the Church, both Head and members, are to bring the fullness of salvation to the world. Christ taking his place at the right hand of the Father makes us one with him in the work of salvation. This is the message of our passage today. The whole first chapter needs to be read in that light. The sacred author gives us a summary of the whole plan of his love for us all.

To sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will.

This will show that this Mystery of the Ascension is something that happens not only to Christ but also to us as the “commissioning” in the Gospel teaches. The role of the Church is not something that stands apart from Christ. Without the risen Lord the Church is no more than a mere human society with earthly goals. This, too, makes it very clear that we constantly must be in Christ’s presence and join him in the sacred work of the Father, i.e. gathering for the Eucharist.

Matthew 28:16-20
All power has been given me both in heaven and on earth

Once again it needs to be said that each of the Gospel accounts of the Ascension (and the accounts of the resurrection) has its own approach and must be seen in its own context. Be careful not to read into this one elements from the others, e.g. the forty days. You will not find that mentioned in Matthew. In fact, in Matthew’s account the word ascension does not appear at all.

The commissioning of the disciples and the consequent union of Christ and his disciples is emphasized. Be sure to note that in the commissioning Jesus first says: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Then I am with you to the end of the ages. God’ s power is with us in carrying out the work of the Church. Human power alone could not accomplish Christ’s command to go to all the world. Baptism is our entrance into the Church and being associated with the risen Christ in his mission to all mankind. Through baptism we enter into the communion or covenant of the heavenly Triity — which is our salvation.

One last point: Matthew ends his Gospel the way he began with the phrase I am with you until the end of time. Emmanuel is the Hebrew word or name meaning God is with us. At the announcement of the birth of Christ Matthew cites the coming of Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that the child to be born is Emmanuel, God is with us (Matthew 1:23).

 

TUESDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 26, 2020

 

Until further notice our temporary weekly Mass Schedule is:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

The Ascension of the Lord is the summation of our Easter Joy.

Easter Sunday was the beginning of the unveiling of all that the Lord gives us in raising Jesus from the dead.

Therefore let us take another look at the word of God for last Sunday and the revelation of the joy to which God has been leading us. It will also open up for us the power of his love in the coming Feast of Pentecost.

Scripture Commentary coming soon.

MONDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 25, 2020 _MEMORIAL DAY

 

Today we begin again our Catholic tradition of daily Mass.

We do so still in the midst of the pandemic, which has altered our lifestyle.

Temporarily our Weekly Mass schedule has had to change to accommodate the needs of our parishioners under these severe circumstances so they all can participate in Mass at least once a week.

Our bishops in Ohio have extended the days of Mass obligation to all seven days of the week.

There will not be enough pew space for everyone to go to Mass on Sundays, so we asked out of charity for others to schedule keeping your duty of weekly worship of God to one of the other days.

This Mass schedule is designed to do this.

With all the precautions necessary at this time we can seat only 50-60 persons in church at a time.

 

So until further notice our weekly Mass Schedule is beginning Monday, May 25th:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

Memorial Day Prayer for our Faithful Departed:

 

O God, glory of the faithful and life of the just,

by the Death and Resurrection of whose Son

we have been redeemed,

look mercifully on your departed servants,

that, just as they professed the mystery of our resurrection,

so they may merit to receive the joys of eternal happiness.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Ascension Sunday — May 24, 2020

Mass as Saint Gabriel to resume on Monday, Memorial Day, May 25th
Sorry not Sunday, 24th

Mass Schedule change beginning Monday, May 25th

The change is necessary because we must provide a safe and healthy environment for Mass participants as we work our way back to our regular schedule. To do so we have to practice “distancing” and a simplified Mass service. We, as all other churches of the Archdiocese, have had to rope off about half of our pews. This greatly reduces the number of persons attending Mass. You are already aware of the limited number of shoppers in a store at a given time. Since most churches could not accommodate all of the usual number of Sunday attendees our bishops have extended the obligation of worshipping God through Mass to all seven days of the week. That is the reason for the drastic new Mass schedule below.

 

Here are our temporary Mass times beginning Monday – May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Please find a time other than Sunday to fulfill your obligation of worship. This may mean a major change in your routine but find comfort in the fact that you are doing it out of love and concern for others

 

All this information has been and still is on our official website and was sent to you by regular mail (which I am told has not reached everyone). You will find the Resumption of Mass Letter on our official website www.gabrielglendale.org. The Letter is linked on the Archives at the bottom of the Blog Page (bottom of the homepage across from the daily scriptures).

 

Please share this information with family and friends.

__________________________________________________________________

SAMPLE OF HOME PRAYER FOR THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD

 

INTRODUCTION

[Before entering into the sample Sunday prayers, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the scripture commentary which is provided on this homepage just beneath this opening Tweet.
Today’s homily is a quasi homily because the ideal homily takes much of its meaning from its actual setting in a “live” liturgy in which the Holy Spirit is at work uniting the body of Christ. This communion together is part of the reality of a homily within the action of the liturgy itself. It is offered here to bind together your small group of prayer on this Lord’s Day. The scripture commentary is meant to give some background to what God is saying and doing at this particular time.]

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Peace be with you.

 

PENTENTIAL RITE to let the Lord prepare our hearts for pure worship

 

Lord Jesus, You are our King, victorious over sin and death — Have mercy
Lord Jesus, You are the King of glory at the right hand of the Father— Have mercy
Lord Jesus, You pray to the Father on our behalf, because we are members of your body — Have mercy

 

Let us pray:
Lord God, in your almighty power and love, we beg of you to give us the gift of a sacred joy in giving you thanks as a sign of our religious devotion to you. This day in raising your Son to your right hand in glory as Head of his body, the Church, you afford us the undying hope that whiter the Head has gone, we, his body, will follow.

 

Listen to the sacred scriptures:
[Go to the Today’s Readings section below on this webpage.]

A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S READINGS

Acts 1:1-11
While the Apostles looked on, Jesus ascended his throne.

This version of the Ascension of the Lord comes from Luke. The writers all recounted the event each from their own perspective. Luke emphasizes the mission of the Church which came from Christ. He also mentions the pathway of the spread of the Gospel: Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth. This is an outline of what Luke has written in the Acts of the Apostles. He ends up with Rome as the crossroads of the whole world. He does so to show that it is God’s plan.

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
The Lord God ascended his throne as King.

This psalm reflects the tradition of the Israelites in crowing their king. There is music and singing, the sound of the shofar, the new king walks up (ascends) to his throne chair, the people surround him and acclaim him with shouts of joy. It is a great celebration. Notice that there is singing which is their way of “acclaiming” their king. We do this at Mass we generally “sing” our acclamations, e.g. Holy, Holy, Holy. An acclamation is done in the presence of the king. Our acclamations at Mass are a statement of faith that our King is present and we celebrate with him there.

Ephesians 1:17-23
God made his Son sit at his right as coregent
The wonderful Letter to the Ephesians is a marvelous summation of the Mystery of Christ. What makes it wonderful for us, especially on this Feast of the Ascension, is that it teaches us that in in the Father’s raising his Son made man to heavenly glory our God is making us heirs to his kingdom. That is our heritage. So we have a stake in it. With Jesus now at the right hand of the Father we will always have an advocate with the highest person — there is no one higher to whom we can go. This fact of faith gives us the lasting hope that we shall have all that we will ever need.

Matthew 28:16-20
All power has been given me both in heaven and on earth

If you listen carefully you will wonder why or how come Matthew does not mention heaven here. He, too, has his version of the Ascension. What he does mention is the mountain, which has been associated with Jesus at prayer in the scriptures. Of course, the mountain always reminds us of Moses on the mountain of Sinai which in turn connects us with the Covenant. So Matthew’s account joins this event to the Covenant which finds it completion in the Paschal Mystery. So the Ascension of the Christ is the final phase of God’s plan for us. We have reached the conclusion and fullness of what God has in store for us. The Ascension is very important for our eternal happiness to be in communion with Father, Son and Spirit.

Silent Reflection and/or share comments.

Homily Written for the Web —May it enhance your prayer and worship of God this day.

TOWARD A HOMILY ON THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

We have spent a lifetime, my brothers and sisters, coming to understand the faith of our ancestors land how they expressed that faith in the scriptures and in prayers at Mass and by the way they lived. Such is our faith. It has been handed on to us.

We have made remarkable progress in our communion with God in this way in our day in our awareness of God’s great love for us. We give special thanks to God for such a gift. We live in good times.

Today we give thanks to God and praise him for moving the Feast of Ascension from Thursday to Sunday. In doing so he has made us take a closer look at what the Ascension of Christ really means, As children we took the surface meaning of Jesus rising from the earth – much as if he got on an elevator and was taken above the clouds. We have become suspicious that there is something behind the reality of the Ascension of the Lord which has affected our whole faith life.

The Ascension of the Lord we can say is the summation of the Easter joy. It gives us the whole purpose of Jesus dying and rising. The other expression of this Mystery is that Jesus, risen in glory, is seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. What’s that all about? Well throne tells us that God is King and that Jesus is equal to the Father and enjoys kingship over God’s people. It is further described as Christ is the Head and we are his body in our more recent term of Mystical Body. This immediately leads us to the way we pray, especially in the liturgy. The Body of Christ together with Head and members celebrate in the liturgy. Christ, being at the right hand of the Father and being priest at our Mass, presents to the Father our worship. This is the meaning of our prayers as say through Jesus Christ our Lord or in Jesus’ name we pray.

If there were not an Ascension of the Lord, we would be praying on our own and much less effectively. This is why God gathers us as he does at the altar of Christ to worship

Blessed be God! Blessed be his Easter people!

 

CREED: I believe in God the Father almighty…

 

We conclude with this prayer together:

Let us pray
for all those preparing themselves when they can go to Mass again.
for the Church of Cincinnati that the Lord make these days of greater holiness for us
for those who have died in recent weeks, that Jesus the Truth bring to fulfillment their hope,
for our government officials in Washington that they be honest servants of he people
for those hospitalized or confined to home due to illness
for those returning to work
for those out of work be given some hope of reemployment
for family and friends that these days be spiritually rich for them all

In Jesus’ name we pray for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven…

 

Covenant Renewal Prayer
aka Prayer of those unable to participate in Mass in person

 Through your gift of Covenant love, O Lord, you have opened our hearts to welcome your Son to dwell within us by being baptized into his Church community and enlivened and strengthen by his Holy Spirit as to what you have made us so that we can better answer your call to gather for the Eucharist. Unable to join the body of Christ at this time to celebrate the redemption of your people, we beseech your merciful love to enlarge our hearts so to welcome your presence all the more and that of your Son and the Holy Spirit so that we may give you thanks always and everywhere as befits your name. Open our ears, O Lord, to your word, both spoken and lived. Through your Holy Spirit make our daily lives more in the image of your Son who is the perfect example of your eternal Covenant so that we may soon join his body, the Church, to burst forth in praise of you at the Table of the Lord, sharing his Body and Blood, and to advance with all your faithful people toward your kingdom of heaven, bound together with you and your holy ones in your one family. Make firm that unity of your Church in answer to your Son’s prayer that we be one so that the world come to know your presence here and know that you are always with us. Through Christ our risen Lord. Amen.

 [See this and the explanation of it on the Blog Archives under the name New Prayer of Saint Alphonsus]

 In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter — May 23, 2020

 

Mass as Saint Gabriel to resume on Monday, Memorial Day, May 25th
Sorry not Sunday, 24th

Mass Schedule change beginning Monday, May 25th

 

The change is necessary because we must provide a safe and healthy environment for Mass participants as we work our way back to our regular schedule. To do so we have to practice “distancing” and a simplified Mass service. We, as all other churches of the Archdiocese, have had to rope off about half of our pews. This greatly reduces the number of persons attending Mass. You are already aware of the limited number of shoppers in a store at a given time. Since most churches could not accommodate all of the usual number of Sunday attendees our bishops have extended the obligation of worshipping God through Mass to all seven days of the week. That is the reason for the drastic new Mass schedule below.

 

Here are our temporary Mass times beginning Monday – May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Please find a time other than Sunday to fulfill your obligation of worship. This may mean a major change in your routine but find comfort in the fact that you are doing it out of love and concern for others

 

All this information has been and still is on our official website and was sent to you by regular mail (which I am told has not reached everyone). You will find the Resumption of Mass Letter on our official website www.gabrielglendale.org. The Letter is linked on the Archives at the bottom of the Blog Page (bottom of the homepage across from the daily scriptures).

 

Please share this information with family and friends.

 

The Big Questions [continued]

 

So here are some initial faith questions that face us as we return to Mass. Attached are a few comments to help us to explore these areas with the hope that we shall come out ahead in our understanding of the faith and why we do what we do. God is behind this to bless us more.

First Big Question:

How will switching our Eucharist to another day of the week beside Sunday not only impact our going to Mass but also how will it affect our daily routine, e.g. work, household chores, our preparation for the Eucharist, how we live out our worship of God, how we pray?

Some comments: It is to God’s credit and the gift of faith he has given us that the Lord’s Day means so much to us. Our habit of Sunday Mass is so ingrained in us that we have felt an emptiness when it was not opened to us.

So how did it affect our work? Did we observe work days different from worship days? Did we distinguish servile work from time spent for God?

So how did it affect our routine around the house? Were there special meals to honor God? Did we still come together as a family and spend time together?

So how was our preparation Mass different? Did we put more time into reading and meditating on the scriptures? Were religious subjects more a part of family conversations?

So how did we live out in our daily lives what we usually “took home” from Mass?

So how was our personal prayer changed? Or was it? Did we change our routine and explore other ways of conversation with God?

 

Second Big Question:

How will our return to “live worship in person” make us and our worship more pleasing to God?

Some comments: Virtual worship through digital means has in many cases kept us in contact with the Church’s worship during two months of quarantine. But the Last Supper was not virtual worship of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. Being in the presence of Jesus and hence in the presence of the Father in a personal encounter cannot be replaced by electronic means, even a video recording or presentation. This is what we have missed, even though we might not be able to explain it fully. One way of saying it might be that we are not virtual persons and the God we worship is not a virtual God. It has to be us, flesh and blood, who open our hearts in a loving and close way to the God who opens his heart to us in the Eucharistic mysteries. In this type of encounter we come away changed persons interiorly and God is glorified by the deepening of his presence within us. We show this through the liturgical actions of eating and drinking the Lord Jesus in his word and in his sacrament. Liturgy is “live” and we are part of the action, not in a virtual way but actual way in the midst of the Church gathered together. That is the “real” presence to Christ and to one another.

 

Third Big Question

 Are we more or less holy than before? Is the Church and our Parish more in the image of Christ now? Can we detect an increase in our faith life for which we offer thanks to God?

 Some comments: We easily get in trouble when we try to “measure” progress in our life in Christ. We are not going to give ourselves a report card. Rather can we point to something in our lives which indicates that our faith and love of God has matured more? In other words, do we understand any of the scriptures more deeply, e.g. in the daily readings assigned to Mass? Did the “light” of the Holy Spirit so touch us that we said: Ah, I never knew that before! e.g. Jesus said I am going to the Father and  we replied What a wonderful way to speak of death. Did I find myself spending more time reflecting of whom Christ has made me in life? Am I amazed how much more others are dedicated to God in prayer throughout this quarantine time? How widespread are God’s gifts of grace? How much I have been blessed to be Catholic? What a treasure is the Eucharist? Did you resolve to enter in to the action of the Mass more the next time I get to go to church? Can I say that these last couple of months have been a gift of grace?

 

Fourth Big Question:

 Have I come to realize the beauty and wisdom of God’s plan of saving us by making us “Church” to be united with other human beings in so many ways?

 Some comments: The pandemic has certainly highlighted in our lives our interpersonal dependence on others, not only in family, but in the whole of society, including our Church family as God gathers us for the Eucharist. The reality of the Mass is the unity of Christ and his people. The Lord joins us together through his gift of the promised Spirit – as we have shown earlier. God very clearly reveals that we are interdependent and need one another because not one of us is and has everything. This leads us to realize that we need God, humans alone cannot fill our all our needs. He alone can give us total fulfillment. So out of this fact he has made us Church people. Those who try to live without God are deceiving themselves. This realization is not limited to Christians or Jews. It has been in other civilizations from centuries ago. For instance, Saint Paul encountered the Greeks in Athens as having shrines to gods – even to the unknown god. They were worried that they would miss some divinity and thus suffer in this world. The ancient Romans produced a poet Horace who glorified all Romans by saying that they had a great civilization because they reverenced the gods. By this he pointed out that the Romans had a sense that there was someone over them to which they must answer. Just in themselves they were not complete. So we are blessed at being “Church” and we are being blessed to be reminded of that gift. We hope that as time goes on and our return to the Eucharist will deepen our appreciation of being part of God’s Church and sharing in the great blessing of coming together for worship in Christ’s name.

 

Fifth Big Question:

 This is a once in a lifetime experience (like World War II), so what spiritual heritage have I gained during these last couple of months which I will hand on to my children, grandchildren, family and friends, and anyone will listen to me?

 

Some comments: Each of us has had his/her own personal experiences during the pandemic — good or bad.  Here is a sample.

Sherman and Susan, I want you to know and remember what happened to me in 2020 when the coronavirus immediately change everyone’s life. It came by surprise. And we had to work our way through it. Many people got sick — some only mildly others fatally. We were all scared. That part of our life that was disrupted and affected the most was our prayer life. Those government officials in charge mandated a stay at home policy. It changed the way we worked and caused many to work at home using the internet. Schools did the same thing. What pained us the most was not being able to go to church. We had to rely on our religious prayer and customs at home that we could remember. Our family, all five of us, would gather once a day for scripture and prayer. On Sundays, and even on weekdays, we would view a Mass presented on our television or computer Internet. It was not the same as being there and receiving Communion. It was up to us to be creative and follow our own routine for conversation with God. Some did and some didn’t. Some were tempted to give up on religion. I found just the opposite. It was better than many times in my life, perhaps even the best. I found myself trying harder to listen to God and to speak to him. I definitely came out of it a changed person. Now when I participate in the Eucharist I get more out of it, my going to Communion means more to me, I am much more aware of what it means to be Church and how God has blessed us in making and saving us that way.

Sherman and Susan, I hope you appreciate what you have got. God willing, you will be blessed by God some way or another. Do not forget what happened to me. I know God loves me. He always has but the pandemic time was rich in grace. Thanks be to God!

 

FRIDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 22, 2020

 

Mass as Saint Gabriel to resume on Monday, Memorial Day, May 25th
Sorry not Sunday, 24th

Mass Schedule change beginning Monday, May 25th

 

The change is necessary because we must provide a safe and healthy environment for Mass participants as we work our way back to our regular schedule. To do so we have to practice “distancing” and a simplified Mass service. We, as all other churches of the Archdiocese, have had to rope off about half of our pews. This greatly reduces the number of persons attending Mass. You are already aware of the limited number of shoppers in a store at a given time. Since most churches could not accommodate all of the usual number of Sunday attendees our bishops have extended the obligation of worshipping God through Mass to all seven days of the week. That is the reason for the drastic new Mass schedule below.

 

Here are our temporary Mass times beginning Monday – May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Please find a time other than Sunday to fulfill your obligation of worship. This may mean a major change in your routine but find comfort in the fact that you are doing it out of love and concern for others

 

All this information has been and still is on our official website and was sent to you by regular mail (which I am told has not reached everyone). You will find the Resumption of Mass Letter on our official website www.gabrielglendale.org. The Letter is linked on the Archives at the bottom of the Blog Page (bottom of the homepage across from the daily scriptures).

 

Please share this information with family and friends.

 

Now for something completely new (at least in part)

 

So here are some initial faith questions that face us as we return to Mass. Attached are a few comments to help us to explore these areas with the hope that we shall come out ahead in our understanding of the faith and why we do what we do. God is behind this to bless us more.

First Big Question:

How will switching our Eucharist to another day of the week beside Sunday not only impact our going to Mass but also how will it affect our daily routine, e.g. work, household chores, our preparation for the Eucharist, how we live out our worship of God, how we pray?

Some comments: It is to God’s credit and the gift of faith he has given us that the Lord’s Day means so much to us. Our habit of Sunday Mass is so ingrained in us that we have felt an emptiness when it was not opened to us.

So how did it affect our work? Did we observe work days different from worship days? Did we distinguish servile work from time spent for God?

So how did it affect our routine around the house? Were there special meals to honor God? Did we still come together as a family and spend time together?

So how was our preparation Mass different? Did we put more time into reading and meditating on the scriptures? Were religious subjects more a part of family conversations?

So how did we live out in our daily lives what we usually “took home” from Mass?

So how was our personal prayer changed? Or was it? Did we change our routine and explore other ways of conversation with God?

 

Second Big Question:

How will our return to “live worship in person” make us and our worship more pleasing to God?

Some comments: Virtual worship through digital means has in many cases kept us in contact with the Church’s worship during two months of quarantine. But the Last Supper was not virtual worship of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. Being in the presence of Jesus and hence in the presence of the Father in a personal encounter cannot be replaced by electronic means, even a video recording or presentation. This is what we have missed, even though we might not be able to explain it fully. One way of saying it might be that we are not virtual persons and the God we worship is not a virtual God. It has to be us, flesh and blood, who open our hearts in a loving and close way to the God who opens his heart to us in the Eucharistic mysteries. In this type of encounter we come away changed persons interiorly and God is glorified by the deepening of his presence within us. We show this through the liturgical actions of eating and drinking the Lord Jesus in his word and in his sacrament. Liturgy is “live” and we are part of the action, not in a virtual way but actual way in the midst of the Church gathered together. That is the “real” presence to Christ and to one another.

 

Third Big Question

 Are we more or less holy than before? Is the Church and our Parish more in the image of Christ now? Can we detect an increase in our faith life for which we offer thanks to God?

 Some comments: We easily get in trouble when we try to “measure” progress in our life in Christ. We are not going to give ourselves a report card. Rather can we point to something in our lives which indicates that our faith and love of God has matured more? In other words, do we understand any of the scriptures more deeply, e.g. in the daily readings assigned to Mass? Did the “light” of the Holy Spirit so touch us that we said: Ah, I never knew that before! e.g. Jesus said I am going to the Father and  we replied What a wonderful way to speak of death. Did I find myself spending more time reflecting of whom Christ has made me in life? Am I amazed how much more others are dedicated to God in prayer throughout this quarantine time? How widespread are God’s gifts of grace? How much I have been blessed to be Catholic? What a treasure is the Eucharist? Did you resolve to enter in to the action of the Mass more the next time I get to go to church? Can I say that these last couple of months have been a gift of grace?

 

Fourth Big Question:

 Have I come to realize the beauty and wisdom of God’s plan of saving us by making us “Church” to be united with other human beings in so many ways?

 Some comments: The pandemic has certainly highlighted in our lives our interpersonal dependence on others, not only in family, but in the whole of society, including our Church family as God gathers us for the Eucharist. The reality of the Mass is the unity of Christ and his people. The Lord joins us together through his gift of the promised Spirit – as we have shown earlier. God very clearly reveals that we are interdependent and need one another because not one of us is and has everything. This leads us to realize that we need God, humans alone cannot fill our all our needs. He alone can give us total fulfillment. So out of this fact he has made us Church people. Those who try to live without God are deceiving themselves. This realization is not limited to Christians or Jews. It has been in other civilizations from centuries ago. For instance, Saint Paul encountered the Greeks in Athens as having shrines to gods – even to the unknown god. They were worried that they would miss some divinity and thus suffer in this world. The ancient Romans produced a poet Horace who glorified all Romans by saying that they had a great civilization because they reverenced the gods. By this he pointed out that the Romans had a sense that there was someone over them to which they must answer. Just in themselves they were not complete. So we are blessed at being “Church” and we are being blessed to be reminded of that gift. We hope that as time goes on and our return to the Eucharist will deepen our appreciation of being part of God’s Church and sharing in the great blessing of coming together for worship in Christ’s name.

 

As the Athenians told Paul: We will have to talk about this next time

THURSDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 21, 2020

(The Feast of the Ascension has been transferred to the coming Sunday)

 

Here are our temporary Mass times at Saint Gabriel’s
                                     beginning Monday – May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening & 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

 On our “Blog Page” under Archives you can find a link to the entire letter being sent to our parishioners and friends regarding the temporary change in our Mass schedule to accommodate our return to regular celebration of the Eucharist due to the limitations the pandemic has imposed on us. It is a drastic change for a while but forces us to ask some deep questions not only about our worship but the rhythm of our lives which is centered in the Eucharist of Christ, primarily our Sunday Mass. Please plan what day of the week you and your family will participate in Mass. With the social distancing required, seating is limited (about 50+). Everyone cannot attend at the same time as usual on Sunday. Please respect these regulations for health sake — yours and the others.

 

So here are some initial faith questions that face us as we return to Mass. Attached are a few comments to help us to explore these areas with the hope that we shall come out ahead in our understanding of the faith and why we do what we do. God is behind this to bless us more.

First Big Question:

How will switching our Eucharist to another day of the week beside Sunday not only impact our going to Mass but also how will it affect our daily routine, e.g. work, household chores, our preparation for the Eucharist, how we live out our worship of God, how we pray?

Some comments: It is to God’s credit and the gift of faith he has given us that the Lord’s Day means so much to us. Our habit of Sunday Mass is so ingrained in us that we have felt an emptiness when it was not opened to us.

So how did it affect our work? Did we observe work days different from worship days? Did we distinguish servile work from time spent for God?

So how did it affect our routine around the house? Were there special meals to honor God? Did we still come together as a family and spend time together?

So how was our preparation Mass different? Did we put more time into reading and meditating on the scriptures? Were religious subjects more a part of family conversations?

So how did we live out in our daily lives what we usually “took home” from Mass?

So how was our personal prayer changed? Or was it? Did we change our routine and explore other ways of conversation with God?

 

Second Big Question:

How will our return to “live worship in person” make us and our worship more pleasing to God?

Some comments: Virtual worship through digital means has in many cases kept us in contact with the Church’s worship during two months of quarantine. But the Last Supper was not virtual worship of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. Being in the presence of Jesus and hence in the presence of the Father in a personal encounter cannot be replaced by electronic means, even a video recording or presentation. This is what we have missed, even though we might not be able to explain it fully. One way of saying it might be that we are not virtual persons and the God we worship is not a virtual God. It has to be us, flesh and blood, who open our hearts in a loving and close way to the God who opens his heart to us in the Eucharistic mysteries. In this type of encounter we come away changed persons interiorly and God is glorified by the deepening of his presence within us. We show this through the liturgical actions of eating and drinking the Lord Jesus in his word and in his sacrament. Liturgy is “live” and we are part of the action, not in a virtual way but actual way in the midst of the Church gathered together. That is the “real” presence to Christ and to one another.

 

Third Big Question

 Are we more or less holy than before? Is the Church and our Parish more in the image of Christ now? Can we detect an increase in our faith life for which we offer thanks to God?

 Some comments: We easily get in trouble when we try to “measure” progress in our life in Christ. We are not going to give ourselves a report card. Rather can we point to something in our lives which indicates that our faith and love of God has matured more? In other words, do we understand any of the scriptures more deeply, e.g. in the daily readings assigned to Mass? Did the “light” of the Holy Spirit so touch us that we said: Ah, I never knew that before! e.g. Jesus said I am going to the Father and  we replied What a wonderful way to speak of death. Did I find myself spending more time reflecting of whom Christ has made me in life? Am I amazed how much more others are dedicated to God in prayer throughout this quarantine time? How widespread are God’s gifts of grace? How much I have been blessed to be Catholic? What a treasure is the Eucharist? Did you resolve to enter in to the action of the Mass more the next time I get to go to church? Can I say that these last couple of months have been a gift of grace?

 

More to come.

 

WEDNESDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 20, 2020

Masses begin again at Saint Gabriel’s on Monday, May 25th 

 

On our “Blog Page” under Archives you can find a link to the letter being sent to our parishioners and friends regarding the temporary change in our Mass schedule to accommodate our return to regular celebration of the Eucharist due to the limitations the pandemic has imposed on us. It is a drastic change for a while but forces us to ask some deep questions not only about our worship but the rhythm of our lives which is centered in the Eucharist of Christ, primarily that of our Sunday Mass.

So here are some initial faith questions that face us as we return to Mass. Attached are a few comments to help us to explore these areas with the hope that we shall come out ahead in our understanding of the faith and why we do what we do. God is behind this to bless us more.

First big question:

How will switching our Eucharist to another day of the week beside Sunday not only impact our going to Mass but also how will it affect our daily routine, e.g. work, household chores, our preparation for the Eucharist, how we live out our worship of God, how we pray?

Some comments: It is to God’s credit and the gift of faith he has given us that the Lord’s Day means so much to us. Our habit of Sunday Mass is so ingrained in us that we have felt an emptiness when it was not opened to us.

So how did it affect our work? Did we observe work days different from worship days? Did we distinguish servile work from time spent for God?

So how did it affect our routine around the house? Were there special meals to honor God? Did we still come together as a family and spend time together?

So how was our preparation Mass different? Did we put more time into reading and meditating on the scriptures? Were religious subjects more a part of family conversations?

So how did we live out in our daily lives what we usually “took home” from Mass?

So how was our personal prayer changed? Or was it? Did we change our routine and explore other ways of conversation with God?

 

Second big question:

How will our return to “live worship in person” make us and our worship more pleasing to God?

Some comments: Virtual worship through digital means has in many cases kept us in contact with the Church’s worship during two months of quarantine. But the Last Supper was not virtual worship of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. Being in the presence of Jesus and hence in the presence of the Father in a personal encounter cannot be replaced by electronic means, even a video recording or presentation. This is what we have missed, even though we might not be able to explain it fully. One way of saying it might be that we are not virtual persons and the God we worship is not a virtual God. It has to be us, flesh and blood, who open our hearts in a loving and close way to the God who opens his heart to us in the Eucharistic mysteries. In this type of encounter we come away changed persons interiority and God is glorified by the deepening of his presence within us. We show this through the liturgical actions of eating and drinking the Lord Jesus in his word and in his sacrament. Liturgy is “live” and we are part of the action, not in a virtual way but actual way in the midst of the Church gathered together. That is the “real” presence to Christ and to one another.

 

More to come

 

TUESDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 19, 2020

 

Below you will find a copy of the letter being sent to our parishioners and friends especially regarding the temporary change in Mass schedule to accommodate our return to regular celebration of the Eucharist due to the limitations the pandemic has imposed on us. It is a drastic change for a while but forces us to ask some deep questions not only about our worship but the rhythm of our lives which is centered in the Eucharist of Christ, primarily our Sunday Mass.

So I shall begin here today with some questions that face us and later to explore these areas with the hope that we shall come out ahead in our understanding of the faith and why we do what we do. God is behind this to bless us more.

First big question:

How will switching our Eucharist to another day of the week beside Sunday not only impact our going to Mass but also how will it affect our daily routine, e.g. work, household chores, our preparation for the Eucharist, how we live out our worship of God.

More to come.

 

Below is the Letter of Father Fay being mailed to the Parish regarding the reopening of the church to the public celebration of the Eucharist.

 

May 18, 2020

Greetings Parishioners and Friends

The long awaited resumption of parish Mass at Saint Gabriel will take place on Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day.

 

It will not be a return to normal. In a sense we will have a new normal by gradually reintroducing our cherished customs over a period of time. There will have to be temporary adjustments. Everything will not be at once.

To abide by recommended distancing it will require limiting gatherings in church to smaller groups, which in turn led Archbishop Schnurr and the other Bishops of Ohio to suspend for a time the Church practice of directing us all to Sunday Mass attendance. Instead they extended the days of fulfilling our Mass obligation to all the seven days of the week. In this way by spreading our Eucharistic gatherings over several days smaller groups (50-70 at the most at Saint Gabriel’s) could be accommodated more safely in our church building and everyone would have the opportunity to worship God at the Table of the Lord once a week.

This slow approach can have its advantages. As we take our time we are less likely to invite the return of the pandemic, giving our medical community more time to make progress in care of the sick and in the discovery and manufacture of remedies.

This added time which God is giving us provides us with the opportunity to take a deeper look into our faith practices and come to understand better the reasons why we have these sacred traditions. Hopefully our faith will be stronger and deeper in this regard. It is a time of grace.

With guidelines from the Archdiocese to help us we want to say:

1) Our bishops have thought it best at this time to give us seven days for fulfilling our obligation to God to gather to worship him weekly. To follow health recommendations of distancing and thus having smaller groups at Mass at one time we shall change our Mass schedules for everyday of the week, including Sunday. For most of us this will mean selecting a day of the week other than Sunday for celebrating the Eucharist with God’s family.

Suspending the “Sunday” Mass obligation does not exempt us from the basic obligation God gave all of us to worship him in the midst of the Church on a frequent and regular basis. That is not up to us but to God. His commandment to worship him the way he wants is a blessing. We should be very familiar by now that our God is the Lord of all times and seasons of life. His surprises us, such as we have now, and calls us to be faithful to him in these different circumstances.

(You also know well that if you are coughing or sneezing or feel ill you should not come to church that day out of love and respect for others.)

Here are our temporary Mass times beginning May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;

Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

 

These times were chosen so that more people could find a convenient time to fulfill their obligation — e.g. noontime might be better for senior citizens and those at work could come during lunch break as they do on holydays; early risers might find the 8:00 AM more suitable for worship. Only one Mass on Sunday morning because we have to sanitize the church after each Mass (this includes wiping used surfaces and discarding any paper materials).

By each of us choosing a different day and time we will not jeopardize the health of others by too large a crowd and avoid having to limit the number of persons we can let into church.

2) The Mass will be simplified to start with. The whole order of service will be there from start to finish. Homilies may be more brief but not eliminated — the word of God elicits the faith we need to give thanks to God properly. Singing will be from printed worship aids instead of the hymnals. Some of the ministries, e.g. lectoring and serving, will initially be taken care of by the priest. Seating will follow the national recommendations of six feet apart (families can sit together) so every pew will not be able to be used. According to Archdiocesan Guidelines the faithful should be encouraged to wear a face mask. Likewise according to the Guidelines the distribution of Communion will be at this time under only one species (the bread form). Depending on the Spirit to guide me I probably will bring Communion to the pews (as I do at Maple Knoll and Glendale Place). Communion should be received in the hand to avoid any possibility of transmitting germs by saliva (personal preferences take second place here). Leaving church will have to be done by sections rather than having everyone crowd at the door. Boxes for collection will be at the entrances to church. These are some of the changes you will experience. Always keep in mind that we gather for worship and adoration of God. He is giving us a way to do that as the body of Christ that we are. We will always remember the sad days when this was not possible.

I wish to thank you all for your understanding and assistance to Saint Gabriel’s during what I call desert days. We have been able to hold our own. Those needs will continue. We will need small teams (perhaps about 4 persons) to sanitize the church after each Mass. Please contact the office and leave a message if you can help.

Your patience during these changing times will restore us more quickly to a deeper share in the mystery of Christ and the eternal salvation it brings. I will try to continue to offer frequent spiritual teaching on our website www.gabrielglendale.org. Keep in touch.

Thanks for your comments.

 

God’s blessing!

Father David Fay
Pastor

 

 

MONDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 18, 2020

Below is the Letter of Father Fay being mailed to the Parish regarding the reopening of the church to the public celebration of the Eucharist.

 

May 18, 2020

Greetings Parishioners and Friends

The long awaited resumption of parish Mass at Saint Gabriel will take place on Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day.

 

It will not be a return to normal. In a sense we will have a new normal by gradually reintroducing our cherished customs over a period of time. There will have to be temporary adjustments. Everything will not be at once.

To abide by recommended distancing it will require limiting gatherings in church to smaller groups, which in turn led Archbishop Schnurr and the other Bishops of Ohio to suspend for a time the Church practice of directing us all to Sunday Mass attendance. Instead they extended the days of fulfilling our Mass obligation to all the seven days of the week. In this way by spreading our Eucharistic gatherings over several days smaller groups (50-70 at the most at Saint Gabriel’s) could be accommodated more safely in our church building and everyone would have the opportunity to worship God at the Table of the Lord once a week.

This slow approach can have its advantages. As we take our time we are less likely to invite the return of the pandemic, giving our medical community more time to make progress in care of the sick and in the discovery and manufacture of remedies.

This added time which God is giving us provides us with the opportunity to take a deeper look into our faith practices and come to understand better the reasons why we have these sacred traditions. Hopefully our faith will be stronger and deeper in this regard. It is a time of grace.

With guidelines from the Archdiocese to help us we want to say:

1) Our bishops have thought it best at this time to give us seven days for fulfilling our obligation to God to gather to worship him weekly. To follow health recommendations of distancing and thus having smaller groups at Mass at one time we shall change our Mass schedules for everyday of the week, including Sunday. For most of us this will mean selecting a day of the week other than Sunday for celebrating the Eucharist with God’s family.

Suspending the “Sunday” Mass obligation does not exempt us from the basic obligation God gave all of us to worship him in the midst of the Church on a frequent and regular basis. That is not up to us but to God. His commandment to worship him the way he wants is a blessing. We should be very familiar by now that our God is the Lord of all times and seasons of life. His surprises us, such as we have now, and calls us to be faithful to him in these different circumstances.

(You also know well that if you are coughing or sneezing or feel ill you should not come to church that day out of love and respect for others.)

Here are our temporary Mass times beginning May 25th.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;

Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

 

These times were chosen so that more people could find a convenient time to fulfill their obligation — e.g. noontime might be better for senior citizens and those at work could come during lunch break as they do on holydays; early risers might find the 8:00 AM more suitable for worship. Only one Mass on Sunday morning because we have to sanitize the church after each Mass (this includes wiping used surfaces and discarding any paper materials).

By each of us choosing a different day and time we will not jeopardize the health of others by too large a crowd and avoid having to limit the number of persons we can let into church.

2) The Mass will be simplified to start with. The whole order of service will be there from start to finish. Homilies may be more brief but not eliminated — the word of God elicits the faith we need to give thanks to God properly. Singing will be from printed worship aids instead of the hymnals. Some of the ministries, e.g. lectoring and serving, will initially be taken care of by the priest. Seating will follow the national recommendations of six feet apart (families can sit together) so every pew will not be able to be used. According to Archdiocesan Guidelines the faithful should be encouraged to wear a face mask. Likewise according to the Guidelines the distribution of Communion will be at this time under only one species (the bread form). Depending on the Spirit to guide me I probably will bring Communion to the pews (as I do at Maple Knoll and Glendale Place). Communion should be received in the hand to avoid any possibility of transmitting germs by saliva (personal preferences take second place here). Leaving church will have to be done by sections rather than having everyone crowd at the door. Boxes for collection will be at the entrances to church. These are some of the changes you will experience. Always keep in mind that we gather for worship and adoration of God. He is giving us a way to do that as the body of Christ that we are. We will always remember the sad days when this was not possible.

I wish to thank you all for your understanding and assistance to Saint Gabriel’s during what I call desert days. We have been able to hold our own. Those needs will continue. We will need small teams (perhaps about 4 persons) to sanitize the church after each Mass. Please contact the office and leave a message if you can help.

Your patience during these changing times will restore us more quickly to a deeper share in the mystery of Christ and the eternal salvation it brings. I will try to continue to offer frequent spiritual teaching on our website www.gabrielglendale.org. Keep in touch.

Thanks for your comments.

 

God’s blessing!

Father David Fay
Pastor