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
Watch the 2021 ABCD Video
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes – called “domestic church”
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
St Gabriel Parish welcomes you to celebrate Christmas. Join us for a retreat Dec 13- 14, Christmas Novenas daily 16-24th & a concert Dec 19
I am extremely glad to witness a lot of our winter parishioners who are coming back again to the parish upon their return to Florida! I fee extremely delighted and happy to see your faces without a mask. As I mentioned doing the weekend Masses please continue to be safe and take good care of
All Saint’s Day is a solemn holy day in the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1st to honor all the saints, known and unknown.
July 14 We Celebrate St. Kateri Tekakwitha – Patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile, and Native Americans.
First Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church