A Note on Today’s Readings Easter Sunday — Year C

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
Dear Parishioner, Easter is “THE” central event in the life of the Church. There is nothing more important to a Christian than sacrificial death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Without these historical events, the Christian faith is worthless. As the Apostle Paul tells us, ‘if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is our faith.’ (1 Corinthians 15:14)
But such is not the case! The events that happened that first Easter continues to be the power, hope and peace of the Christian’s life, and foolishness to everyone else. It is our hope that this Easter Message will help us celebrate the victory that is the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
As we approach the altar this Easter, and partake of the “body and blood” of our Living Savior, let us all remember to let Christ live in us. Let us not be one of those who treat Christ’s death as meaningless. Let his death and his resurrection be a significant event not only in our religious lives, but in our daily lives as well.
The love of the Risen Christ we will share by welcoming those among us who took that step to membership of St. Gabriel’s community of faith. Let the Paschal greeting resonate with us: “Christ is Risen!” And let us always answer with enthusiasm—by our words and especially in our lives—”The Lord is Risen, Indeed!”
HOLY AND BLESSED EASTER!!

St. Gabriel’s “Call for a Rector”

The Vestry of St. Gabriel’s has commenced the process of Calling its New Rector. We take
this time to share with the congregation the following essential aspects of the process:
St. Gabriel’s Prayer Walk
A prayer walk is an activity that consists of walking and praying at the same time. It is done not
for the physical benefit but for the spiritual exercise. It centers around taking our prayers to the
very places where we desire to see God’s presence manifested and our prayers answered.
Prayer Walking, a powerful dynamic of praying on-site with God’s sight, uses sights, sounds,
even smells to engage both body and mind in the ministry of prayer.
In the Call for a Rector for St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, the Vestry and the Search Committee
invite the congregation to join them in a prayer walk of the neighborhood. There will be groups
of 3-5 persons who will walk and pray for a specific area in the vicinity of the Parish. Groups
are being formed at this time and we encourage you to join a group. What can be a better
welcome to our new spiritual leader, than to walk the path he or she shall walk when they join
the community of St. Gabriel’s, Brooklyn.
The Parish Survey
As our Parish begins the Call for a Rector, the Search Committee invites each member to tell
us about yourself, as well as share your feelings about what programs and activities are
important. You have “spoken” at the Parish Summit held on Sunday, February 10, 2019, and
we listened.
The information you provided will help us describe our Parish to the candidates to be presented
from whom we will choose a Rector. Your responses will also assist in guiding the Search
Committee as we prayerfully discern “God’s gift of a Leader” for St. Gabriel’s.
To this end, the Parish Survey was created. We ask that you spend a prayerful time to complete
and return swiftly the survey so that we may have an accurate picture of the whole Parish.
Copies of the Parish Survey will be available to the congregation in a short while. Your
responses are confidential and will be analyzed only in aggregate with all other responses.
The Search Committee
The Vestry selected members of the Parish of St. Gabriel’s to join them in the discernment
process of Calling a Rector thus forming the Search Committee. The composition of the Search
Committee reflects the Parish’s diversity and members who have time to dedicate to the search
process and with capacity to execute.
The members of the Search Committee are: Clifford Loncke, Haveluck Hall, Fleur Sarrabo,
Olivia Buery, Deborah Goddard, Gordon Wilson, Stephanie Glasgow, Ursula Brown and Linda
Watson-Lorde.
It is essential at the outset that the Search Committee commit themselves to discretion and
confidentiality in the compilation of the list of prospective candidates. It is very harmful to the
integrity of the process if a member of the Search Committee “leaks” information to anyone in
the congregation, to their spouse or other family member during the search process.

A Note on Today’s Readings | Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish

The Gospel reading is Peter’s acknowledgement of Jesus asthe Messiah, which was followed by Jesus’ first prediction ofhis crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus calls his followers to pattern their own lives on his, sharing in the self-giving love which leads to the Cross.

In the Wisdom writings of the Hebrew Scriptures which we are using in our first readings during this period, the term“wisdom” is not simply a function of thought but is thepersonification of God. Strikingly, God, as Holy Wisdom, is feminine. The person who would be truly wise will live in God. God, Holy Wisdom, will give us her counsel and guidance.

The second lesson is again drawn from the Epistle of James,an intensely practical discourse on Christian living. In today’sreading, James exhorts us to learn self-control, especially in our speaking. The tongue, when disciplined, is used to glorify God, but when undisciplined, can cause hurt and damage.

The People of God enact in song, story, and sacrament their unity with Jesus dying and rising in their midst. In baptism and Eucharist we join him in his death and resurrection. We speak and sing our praise to him in our worship and in our lives of ministry, acceptance, and love for all people.

HAPPY SUNDAY

Father Eddie+

A Note on Today’s Readings Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish

The Gospel reading today contains two healing stories. In the first, Jesus astounds the disciples by healing the daughter of a Gentile woman, an act unheard of in his day. Then he heals a man who is deaf and mute. These healings, like the others in the Gospel, is forMark a sign that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus’ attempt to preventthe healing being made known, and the crowd’s amazement at this event, is a characteristic of Mark’s Gospel. Also characteristic ofMark is that the people healed are in every case people who were rejected by traditional religious leaders.

In our first reading, we continue to read portions of the Wisdom writings. Proverbs is one of the more important of those writings. Today we are reminded that the wise person is concerned for a good name more than for riches. To do good for those in need is the way of Wisdom.

Today we continue reading the Epistle of James. This brief letter,ascribed to Jesus’ brother, is strikingly similar in tone and contentto the Sermon on the Mount. James is particularly concerned that belief in God be accompanied by conduct congruent with that faith. Above all, James is concerned lest we settle for faith which does not produce good works for others, especially the poor and helpless. Faith without good works is an empty faith.

The People of God gather, week by week, to meet Christ, dying and rising in our midst. His presence is revealed in our liturgical gatherings in Word and Sacrament, and in us, as members of his Body, by our daily lives of ministry to others in concrete acts of love and caring.

HAPPY SUNDAY

Father Eddie+

A Note on Today’s Readings | Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

 

 

 

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish

The teaching of Jesus which caused the greatest offense to his disciples was his discourse on himself as the bread of life. When he extended that beyond a spiritual feeding to a sacramental feeding, “My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,” many of his followers left him. The inner group, “the Twelve,” were also disturbed, but through Peter, they reaffirmed their faith.

Today we also conclude our reading of the story of David. The one goal David did not achieve was to build a temple forGod in Jerusalem. David’s son, Solomon, did build the temple and today we hear Solomon’s prayer of dedication. He prays that it will be a sign of God to all people, the place where God dwells among the human race.

We complete our reading of the Epistle to the Ephesians today. Paul calls on us to find our strength in God to stand up against the powers that oppose God’s will and plan. Weare to live in that strength and to persevere in prayer for all people.

We are called to be a people who belong to Christ. This call is often in direct conflict with our own wishes, habits, or opinions. We gather in liturgy as more than passive hearers and observers. We gather to enter into an encounter withGod in Christ, which will remake us as people of Gods kingdom.

HAPPY SUNDAY

Father Eddie+

A Note on Today’s Readings – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

 

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish

Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life continues to be the center of our liturgy, as it has been now for several weeks. Jesus has met physical hunger by providing material bread (a primary Old Testament sign of salvation); he has said that a spiritual (or mystical) relationship with him constitutes the bread of eternal life; now he says that nourishment with his life is given by actually eating his flesh and drinking his blood. If we eat his body and drink his blood, we will have eternal life.

In the first reading, God’s Wisdom is personified as a hostess inviting us to eat her food and drink her wine, thereby receiving her into our lives.

Early Christians understood Jesus as the incarnation of God’sWisdom. This is, therefore, a passage that has been seen by Christians as an Old Testament prefiguring of our Savior who calls us into new life by becoming one with him sacramentally.

The second reading is once again from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. We are exhorted to let God’s Spirit inebriate us and speak through using thanksgiving and song.

“People with a story to tell and a song to sing” is a way Christians have been described. It is preeminently in the liturgy that we carry out that role. We gather here to be fed physically, spiritually, and sacramentally. Our response is to give thanks (the word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”) and, having told our story and sung our song here, to take it out to our brothers and sisters in the world.

HAPPY SUNDAY

Father Eddie+

A Note on Today’s Readings | Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
We continue to hear Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life today.
Continuing last week’s theme of Jesus himself as the source of
nourishment for our new life in him, a further level of meaning is
introduced. This was astounding to Jesus’ hearers (and would be to
us if we were not already so used to it), for he is not simply speaking
of a “spiritual” communion with him. He is speaking of his own
flesh, his own life. He is the food of eternal life.
The first reading tells of Elijah the prophet fleeing through the
wilderness. He is starving and begs God to let him die. But God
instead provides food for him in the wilderness and Elijah is able to
complete his pilgrimage to the mount of God.
Today’s reading from the Letter to the Ephesians continues from last
week’s discussion of our unity in the Spirit, to the new way of living
which is the result of that unity, and to its deepest and most
profound implication: namely, our new life is one identity, both as
individuals and as a people, with Jesus himself. What he is, we are
becoming.
In the Eucharist we take the material things of this world and, in
giving thanks over them, we offer them to be taken up into the life of
God. And this is true also of ourselves who are represented by the
bread and wine. We are part of a people whose story goes back to the
ancient Hebrews: a people who have at the center of our existence
God calling us to be bearers of the divine presence in the world.
HAPPY SUNDAY
Father Eddie+

A Note on Today’s Readings Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
Today we hear the response of the crowd after Jesus had fed the
5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Then we hear the first
part of the discourse from the Gospel of John on Jesus as the bread
of life. Starting with bread as a material object and earthly food,
Jesus then leads his hearers to an understanding of communion or
fellowship with him as food for our spiritual nature. It is that
spiritual nourishment which gives eternal life.
Last Sunday we heard the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba
and his murder of her husband. The prophet Nathan comes and, in a
parable about a rich man stealing a poor man’s only lamb, induces
David to confess. David repents, but the damage is done. His
household will be in turmoil from that time forward. Sin can be
forgiven, but its damage continues to work through those around the
sinner.
In today’s reading from Ephesians, one of the Pauline tradition’s
strongest themes is introduced. We are in unity with God and with
all people through our baptism. Baptism has joined us together into
one life as the body of Christ—the same body which we receive in
Holy Communion.
The Christian Gospel takes as its basis the nature of human life in
this world and sees our life as being shot through with signs of the
fuller life that is ours in Christ. Ours is not a religion of the spirit
alone, nor is it solely a means of dealing with material life in this
world. As bread and wine are revealed in the liturgy to be
instruments of God’s presence in us, so all of life is revealed as the
sacrament of God in the world; we remember that we are (in the
words of St. Augustine) “…means of grace and vehicles of the eternal
charity.”
HAPPY SUNDAY
Father Eddie+