A few years ago Pope Benedict, in a talk to children who brought the baby Jesus from their nativity scenes to be blessed by him, said:
"The crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. This does not consist in having so many things, but in feeling loved by the Lord, in becoming a gift for others and loving one another. Let us look at the Nativity Scene: the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph do not seem like a very lucky family, they had their first child in the midst of great hardship, and yet are filled with deep joy, because they love each other, help each other and, above all, are certain that in their history God is at work, present in the Infant Jesus. And the shepherds? What reason would they have to rejoice? That baby will not change their condition of poverty and marginalization. But faith helps them to recognize in the 'infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger', the 'sign' of the fulfillment of the promises of God for all men 'whom he loves' (Luke 2,12.14), even for them!”.
My sisters and brothers this is what true joy is; the feeling that our personal and community lives are visited and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God’s love. We need more than things to rejoice, we need love and truth: we need a God close at hand, who warms our hearts, and responds to our deepest yearnings. This God was manifested in Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. So that Child, that we put in the manger, is the center of everything, He is the heart of the world. We pray that every man, woman, or child, like the Virgin Mary, may accept as a center of their lives the God who became a Child, the source of true joy.
Many thanks to all of you who make your homes a place of love and respect and that the words spoken and the acts performed there help us grow closer to the Holy Family and our Lord. I also give thanks to our school community our leadership and faculty for helping to foster God’s graces and love on all there.
Stop by our Nativity Scene and give thanks for the real gifts of our lives. Blessings this Holy Season as we celebrate the gift of life, the gift of love, both here at St. Gabriel, in our homes and throughout the year.
Msgr. John Shamleffer
I thoroughly enjoyed our vocal and band concerts this past week; we are blessed with much God given talents in our students and in our caring teachers: Mrs. Seiler and Sr. Gail Buckman.
Stewardship Reflection ~ December 15, 2019
3rd Sunday of Advent
“You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:8)
Patience is another one of those things many of us struggle with. We want things to go according to our plan and our schedule. Any change brings anxiety and fear. Through daily prayer we better align ourselves with God’s will and His plan, which is far better than anything we can come up with on our own.
We are St. Gabriel!