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