Saturday - 4:00 pm
Sunday - 8:00, 11:00 am & 6:00 pm
Morning Mass (Tues - Fri) 8:15 am
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Gabriel’s
March 1st begins our annual journey of Lent. For some it is a time when panic sets in. What do I give up? When am I supposed to abstain from meat? When are confessions heard? For some it is a time of preparing for Easter, especially for those in the RCIA. For most of us, I suspect Lent is a time when we feel the need to take our faith seriously. Nothing frivolous or easy-breezy about Lent. It's a serious time. If you're in that category, I've got some help in your preparation.
First, Pray. When you have completed that, go on to the second item. Pray some more. When you've done that, there's the third item. Get on your knees and pray. You see, the time we actually give over to God in prayer doesn't have to be hours and hours. It just needs to be quality listening to HIS will. And if you don't hear it the first time, well, keep going to the next and the next. The point is give God your BEST time.
Then there's #2. Make a pact with yourself and God that you're going to read something about your faith. Maybe a new book like The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic or Rediscovering Jesus or maybe the readings for Mass each day. The point is if we don't allow ourselves to grow in the faith it will wither on the ground and die.
You're going to love #3! Be generous! Remember those visits you've been wanting to make--do them. Remember that commitment you made to your son/daughter but didn't have the time--find the time. Remember how much you love your parish and all it does--support it. Remember how much God loves you--return the love!
And now for #4. There’s always a #4. Go out and tell the story of Jesus to someone else. That child who rolls his/her eyes at the thought of prayer. That neighbor who you know you went to Catholic High School with--invite him/her to Mass. That neighbor you see as you go to Sunday Mass--make a friend. Know what? You're a disciple.
I hope this gets you started on a great Lent. Oh and if you thought I did this on my own--nah. I got it from Matthew Kelly and his book, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. Simple.
God bless you and have a dynamic Lent.
Fr. Joe Sharbel, Pastor