From the Desk of Father Nathan

St Gabriel Catholic Church | Pompano Beach
God Bless You All

From the Desk of Father Nathan | February 14, 2021

A Message from Father Nathan

My dearest people who are all close to my heart!


Ash Wednesday | The Beginning of Lent

“Repent and believe in the Gospel”

“Repent and believe in the Gospel” is the captivating sentence as we begin the holy season of Lent. For any Roman Catholic Church, the suffering the death of Christ is the mystery of our faith. Our faith revolves around this.

Symbolic Meaning of the Ashes

Ash Wednesday opens up the season – ashes from the palms of the preceding year’s Palm Sunday are burned and blessed. With these ashes, the priest marks a cross on the foreheads of worshipers saying “Remember man that dust thou art and unto dust, you shall return.”  (– Genesis 3:19)

Besides showing sorrow for their sins those who honor Ash Wednesday add an additional meaning the need to prepare for a holy death. Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday and is chiefly observed by Catholics although many other Christians observe it too.

Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.

Today as the ashes are applied to a person’s forehead these words are spoken: “Remember that you were dust and to dust you shall return.” Alternatively the words “Repent and believe in the Gospel”.

Ashes also symbolize grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. Ash Wednesday is not directly mentioned in the Bible, however, from Biblical times, sprinkling oneself with ashes has been a mark of sorrow for sin. Several times the Bible mentions people repenting in dust and ashes for example Esther 4 1 Job 42.6 the inhabitants of Nineveh Jonah 3:5-6 and Daniel 9:3-4.

Repentance in dust and ashes often accompanied fasting during Biblical times.

As we begin the holy season of Lent let us plunge into the mood of this meaningful season. Let us get into the shoes of Christ. Let us commemorate the suffering and death and resurrection of Christ. We shall pray the Stations of the Cross in our parish.

May God bless you all!
Ever wanting to be faithful to your service,
With love and blessings,


—Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan

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Past Messages from Father Nathan