UNIQUE

We have all heard the phrase; God sure broke the mold when He made her! That has been used usually to describe some one that is a huge blessing in people’s lives, or occasionally describes someone just the opposite of a good blessing! If we take a minute to ponder on that statement, life sure would be boring if we were all the same or made identically from the same mold! We would have the same job, same hair, same clothes, same aches and pains, and same attitude and ambitions. Think about the traffic jams! And it sure would be hard to get a word in amongst ourselves, wouldn’t it?

As I boy I was given a set of metal molds that I poured goop in and then cooked this mold in an oven. Once cooked, I had made my very own plastic spiders and creepy crawlers. They were always identical in shape, size and the number of legs, and only differed in the color variations of the goop. Then of course once the creepy crawlers were done as any active loving boy would do, I hid the spiders and bugs around the house to await a surprise reaction from my older sisters!  

Thanks be to God, it is a safe assumption that we humans are all unique. Yes, He has made us either male or female with some basic similar needs but we are all created differently. After all, I am going to tell you right now, some of you would look kind of funny with a long, grey beard like mine! Now rest assured, we all have the very same Father and we have all received a gift of grace, but our gifts differ and are unique to us. [Eph. 4:7] This gift is given freely but it is geared towards building His Church and restoring everything to its incorrupt and natural state! (Eph 4:7-13) We are created to bring holiness into our little part of the world.

When our Lord entered the River of Jordan, He restored the water to its right relationship with God, pure as the Garden of Eden. His baptism was not to cleanse the Sinless One but to make the waters Holy! When we have our homes blessed with the water of Theophany, we too join our homes and families into a correct relationship seeking after the Kingdom of Heaven, cleansing it from all impurities. We drink the Holy Water to cleanse our bodies from the rancid world and everything that separates us from Christ!

In our baptism, Christ shares life eternal with us as He scrubs away our stains. Death for us has been defeated! Our Earthly death is now an entrance into life eternal. It is not what we deserve; it is what He desires for us. We seek to just make our daily lives a liturgy, glorifying our Creator.

St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco writes: Now the Church consists of both her earthly and heavenly parts, for the Son of God came to earth and became man that He might lead man into heaven and make him once again a citizen of Paradise, returning to him his original state of sinlessness and wholeness and uniting him unto Himself. This is accomplished by the action of Divine grace granted through the Church, but man’s effort is also required. God saves His fallen creature by His own love for him, but man’s love for his Creator is also necessary; without it he cannot by saved. Striving towards God and cleaving unto the Lord by its humble love, the human soul obtains power to cleanse itself from sin and to strengthen itself for the struggle to complete victory over sin. “The Church as the Body of Christ,” Man of God: Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco

Fr. Gabriel Weller 1-24-2021

Christmas Wish

Around this time, here in the Valley as we live and breathe the American dream often times you will hear folks ask: what do you want for Christmas? My endorphin hormones enjoy new and shinny things but now as I achingly realize my age, I am more concerned about other things like the wellbeing of my love ones and the challenges they are facing and will face in the near future. And I think I now should spend more time reflecting on my sinfulness and things I still need to improve on in the limited days I have left. Perhaps the Christmas Wish I most desperately need is answered with a bold statement like: Death to the world that still exists within me! [Col. 3:5-6]

Well, that’s easier said than done! I simply alone cannot rid myself of these addictions! I am weak and slothful and easily distracted! And then of course there are my scars and deep wounds that at times get agitated accidently by folks in my day to day walk in life. I am still in need of a Great Healer and Physician. I am in great need of a love that is so pure and unpolluted. I am in great need of a Savior because I can’t seem to cure myself despite my many thirsting attempts.  

Christ is Born so that we may lose the chains of death and lay aside all earthly cares! But we must accept His invitation to come closer! We have to cooperate with His grace by removing all of the obstacles we have surrounded ourselves with that block His Light from penetrating our hearts! St. Paul lists the following obstacles today in his letter to the Church in Colossians: “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience”. [Col 3:5-6] He then mentions “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.” St. Paul follows that up with a warning not to “lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature.” (Col 3:8-9)

These are the pollutants that contaminate our bodies and souls and steal our true joy. They may at times seem small and minuscule but when rot is allowed to remain, deterioration comes to the whole body as it slowly encumbers our eternity. There is no happiness in damnation. Over the years I have found that the things of the Earth that are shinny and new require our attention to preserve them or keep them sparkling. We become their slaves. And over time, they tarnish or rust away anyway. True happiness can only come from above!

“Come; let us seize Paradise hidden in the cave! There the unwatered Root has appeared, blossoming with forgiveness.” (Cannon of the Nativity) He formed us from clay and carefully placed us in the womb and He wishes to restore blessedness to all of mankind. Christ is born at Christmas and hopes we chose Him as our Christmas Wish. Less of us and much more of Him! Glory to Thee who has showed us the Light! (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Fr. Gabriel Weller 12-27-2020

Are You Where You Are Supposed To Be?

Are you where you are supposed to be? We have heard the phrase “I was in the right place at the right time”. So, where is this place, because I want to be there! And I am certain you do too! We all heard the answer to this very question today, in the reading of the Gospel of Luke Chapter 13. A Good Jew was in the synagogue because it was the Sabbath and on this day Christ was there and He was teaching.

What we heard in this reading today was that this woman who was bent over in crippling pain was there as well. You see, she was in the right place, but we believe this was her custom; she managed to bring her broken body to the temple. So for 18 years, she made her way to the temple, despite her infirmity, she was there! But on this day, Christ saw her and had compassion on her laying His hands on her. He physically touched her! Think about it, how powerful is that? Not just to be in His presence but to have the Son of God touch you! Saint Gregory the Great: writes “He called her and straightened her up, because He enlightened and helped her. He calls us, but does not straighten us up….Our repeated sins bind our hearts, so that we cannot rise to an upright condition. They try, but then slip back. Of necessity they fall even when they do not want to, since they have so long acted according to their own wills. “[Ib., 253, 254.]

So I ask, are you in the right place? Where should a Good Christian be? Over the few years I have been here on Earth, I have known some folks that simply have severe physical infirmities and are just unable to make a weekly pilgrimage to the church. I have also known some folks that make choices that block their weekly trip and then others that think they have plenty of time left to work on their salvation. Are you where you are supposed to be?  

Well, we know that our Lord is All-Present (Psalm 33:13-14) but there is something really special here at the church waiting for you. The church is a place where we escape the world and its’ grip and find true worship. And here at the church, the Body of our Risen Lord can physically and mystically touches your tongue when you receive Holy Communion. By eating and drinking the bread and wine which are mystically consecrated by the Holy Spirit, we have indisputable communion with God through Christ who himself is “the bread of life(Jn 6.34, 41).I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”(Jn 6:51)

Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco writes: “Communion of the holy Body and Blood of Christ, which strengthens our contact with Him and refreshes us with the living streams of the grace of the Holy Spirit flowing through the Body of the Church, is necessary for everyone.” St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, “The Church as the Body of Christ”( Man of God: Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco‘ border=0 v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″>)  You need to be here, you are deeply thirsting for Him. (Psalm 33:13-14)  You need that physical touch from the One who suffered and died and defeated death and yearns to touch your crippled body and soul for that which is beneficial for your salvation. Won’t you come?

Fr. Gabriel Weller 12-13-2020

LET THERE BE LIGHT

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” [Gen 1-4]

The night has also been interrupted by man-made illumination. We are told that early man 120,000 years ago with the discovery of fire was not only able to cook his food but also penetrate the darkness with the light emitted from the fire. And we believe the Egyptians formed a wax candle around 3000 BC and then the use of horn lanterns in the home in the early 1st century, gas lighting around 1816 and whale oil soon then after that, and of course Edison’s invention of the electric light bulb in 1882. Mankind has been intentionally trying to interrupt darkness with some type of energy source. 

I have always been drawn to light; after all, we are all programmed that way! At an early years in the 1970’s, I was infatuated with the 5 “d” cell flashlight Radio Shack was nearly giving away, of course the batteries were not included. But for a buck ninety-eight, I could hold a source of intense light in my hands! My friends bought one as well and we would wait till dark to turn those light beams on and have laser fights and tag. And as long as my batteries were fresh and recharged and my bulb was working, there was no darkness in my path!

We read in the Epistle for Ephesians this morning: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” It takes an effort to keep our path illuminated. Our human bulb must be firmly seated in the teachings of Christ and our energy source can come from none other than the omnipotent Creator. Listen to the instructions of Saint Symeon the New Theologian: “As many, therefore, as are children of the light also become sons of the day which is to come, and are enabled to walk decently as in the day. The day of the Lord will never come upon them, because they are already in it forever and continually. The day of the Lord, in effect, is not going to be revealed suddenly to those who are ever illumined by the divine light, but for those who are in the darkness of the passions and spend their lives in the world hungering for things of the world; for them it will be fearful, and they will experience it as unbearable fire.” [“The Church and the Last Things,” On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, Vol. I, Tenth Discourse, 146, 147.] [1 Thess. 5:4.] 

In short, if you seek your existence in the world, your bulb is dim and your source of energy is corroded and weak, it will not bring you safely out of the darkness. Many folks have not surrendered unto the Lord and continue navigating through the darkness bumping into things as they travel through life. They say: “Why me God?” with each life challenge they encounter and chose to remain their own little source of dim energy, in control but yet swirling round and round in the funnel of life. Listen to the life-saving words of St. Paul: But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5)

The world was pierced with Light when our Lord suffered on the cross out of His love for you and me. Don’t waste another day swirling around in the worldly funnel; surrender your heart to the Great source of Light. The world can only offer you death, but only He can give you an illuminated life!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 12-6-2020

BLOWIN IN THE WIND

The fall time of the year is such a colorful time in our lives. The green lush spring is now infused with trees of many fall colors as they will soon start to turn brown and litter the ground reminding us of just how short life is. Scientist say that leaves change color as the daylight hours draw shorter and it becomes cooler in the night. A biochemical processes in the leaves begin to paint the landscape with Nature’s autumn palette. Pretty soon the drab and the now deadened leafs will fall to the ground and blow like chaff in the wind. But it wasn’t that long ago that the days began to get longer and the brown and gray vegetation became vibrant and green with life and that time will soon come again! Cultivators will go out to work preparing and planting. Warmth will come with insects and pollination and gentle rain for nourishment. But for now, the season of growth nearing its end, and we look for nature’s lifeless period in its’ next season, a season of dormancy.


Our earthly life also has seasons. At times there is newness of life and also at times a bit drab or demise. Newness of life is at its peak when we Christians find repentance and forgiveness. This is our cultivating season and our Lord sends His grace for pollination which for us repentant is the spreading of His love through our acts of love. And His mercy rains down on us quenching our Godless drought of our self-love and self-pity. And in this time of spiritual growth, we move closer to the Divine and our healthy lush colors are full of life.


Forgetting to put God first in all things brings darkness over our souls and we begin our decent into the drab colorless dormant seasons in our lives. Turning from God severs our eternal nutrient supply. In the last number of years my wife has noticed another color change in me. On occasion, she sees a color change in my face. Redness appears in my checks if my blood pressure is elevated. Sometimes this redness occurs if I am hustling about doing tasks but mostly if I am experiencing anger with my fellow man or my loving wife. As far as my health is concerned, I am getting older but I do not make much time to stay in shape and I do not always take into consideration the nutritional foods that I need to eat. However, the fast will be here soon to help me with this! Maybe with all the leaves arriving in my yard I can gain some exercise by raking and gathering them. And as far as my spiritual health, I continue to be angered by my fellow man instead of looking inward, blowing like a dead leaf in the wind. My type “A” personality blinds me and my world at times only contains little ole me! I fail to exercise my soul as I forget my salvation and His love for creation. Saint John of Damaskos says: “Without practice and preparation it is not possible for anyone to attain deification (theosis) and communion with God.”


In my busyness, I don’t take ample time to help my brother, Lazarus (Lk 16:29). Maybe if I knew when my earthly expiration date was, I would spend more time being about my Father’s business. Maybe if I spend more time reading about Moses and the prophets rather than wasting my life away on electronic entertainment or worrying about COVID or the election, I would be better prepared for the next life and the judgment in which all my deeds will surely be made known. Rest assured, our days on this Earth are numbered and the pursuit of purple and fine linen takes away the time we have been given to be the church. We cannot allow the winds of time to blow us around where the winds will take us! We need to put our salvation as the most important task in our lives! We need to stay in the season of lush growth springing our souls to be more like God, finding out salvific nutrients in the deep fertile soil of Orthodoxy, and becoming more vibrant and alive in the Holy Sacraments of the church. Less of me, More of Him! May our color be one of vibrance through the life-sustaining blood of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 11-2020 / 11-5-17

He’s Alive! Are YOU?

Hope is such a powerful word! I actually come from a little town in Virginia named New Hope. Some people over the years have made fun of this little town by proclaiming No Hope for New Hope! But I prefer to be a positive thinker and always leave the door and the window open for hope to come and blanket me like a fog consuming Afton Mountain! The more hope the better! I feel like my tank would be empty without hope!

Sometime ago, I was disagreeing with a scientist friend of mine who needs to be able to explain things within the confined boundaries of science. It is sad because he has no grasp of hope! He may believe in lady luck but that seems to be his only acknowledgement of positive thinking. Everything has a reason for him based on the limitation of human knowledge.

In our Christian faith, we believe in the power of prayer and things unseen. We hope that our Creator will hear our supplication and take action on our behalf. And it is important that we always conclude our petitions with “Thine will be done” for we have no idea at times what are really asking for and we do not know what will unfold for us in the future. We are also reminded with Scripture such as: “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”[Mt. 19:26]  And then in the Scripture today, Christ restores life to the young dead son of a widow. There is always hope!    

We are reminded that we are in a fallen world, evil is mistaken for good. Mankind was booted out of the garden because of for our thirst for greed. Our life now has an age limit and the evil one is here amongst us, enticing our greed and wanting to separate us from our hope. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”[Rom. 8:20-21] Saint Symeon the New Theologian writes: “This is the reason why, when God saw from before the creation of the world that Adam would be saved through re-birth, He subjected creation to him, and put it under a curse so that, having been created for the sake of man who had fallen into corruption, it should itself become corrupt and provide him annually with corrupted food. But then, when God makes man anew again and renders him immortal, incorruptible, and spiritual, at that time, I say, He will change all of creation itself together with man, and will bring it to completion as immaterial and everlasting.”

 It is easy to live as if we are god but the reality will overcome us on our death beds. Just like the dead son in the scripture today, I also am dead! My stench of death is not physical but spiritual! My greed forgets about my mortality and my need of God, and I chose to make decisions and seek things selfishly. Blessed Theophylact tells us: “The bier which carries the dead mind is the body. And indeed the body is like a tomb, as the ancient Greeks said, calling the body a burial mound, which means a tomb. Having touched the body, the Lord then raises the mind, restoring its youth and vigor. And after the young man, meaning the mind, has sat up, raised from the tomb of sin, he will begin to speak, that is, to teach others. While he is in the grip of sin, he cannot speak or teach; who would believe him?” (Blessed Theophylact)

But I have hope. “My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my shelter is the Holy Spirit, O Holy Trinity, Glory to Thee.” (Venerable Joannicius the Great) I hope that through my continued effort and God’s grace He will remove my selfish scars from my darkened eyes and enable my vision of the Incarnate. Our hope is a submission that we need a Savior and a that He is still working in our lives. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, in order for you to abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Rom. 15:13]

Fr. Gabriel Weller 10-25-2020

STINKY BAIT

Back in my 20’s when I took time to go fishing, there was a sure-fire thing for catching trout, it was a new bait called PowerBait®. Powerbait is made from a combination of an oil-based resin and PVC. In 1988, a young chemical engineer changed the face of trout fishing forever. Combining a formal education in chemistry and a lifelong interest in angling, research scientist John Prochnow created a national fishing phenomenon we all came to know as PowerBait. In addition to the two main ingredients, a range of scents and smells were added to give the bait its signature fish-catching smell. 

Fish have a keen sense of smell that helps them determine where food is located and if it is eatable. This new fangled bait resembled what was being fed to the trout at the fish farm before they were transplanted into their new wild fish habitat. The basic theory behind these baits is to float and attract the fish to bite. Or in other words, it smells eatable and you catch more fish! Bon appétit!

Well, I am not a chemical engineer nor am I made of PVC and resin but the good Lord can use you and me as power bait as well! Let me explain. Fish have an intense sense of smell. The dark water fish are even more attracted to strong smelling bait! Now, you see, that is where I come in to being bait, sometimes, I am fragrant and sometimes I stink! The Good Lord has called us all to be fishers of men and He needs us to be fragrant! We need to ooze the love of Christ and not the rot of the world!

When I first discovered the Lord, I was ashamed and kept my failures inward, buried deep and rotting. I did not realize that every one of us struggles with sin. I felt enormously unworthy of His love! Along the course time, His grace continued to nurture me and draw me closer. I was then cleansed in the Holy Water of baptism but since that day, continue to occasionally fall short. When I go to confession and communion I release a peaceful fragrance. This aroma is something that needs to be shared. It is something that attracts the hungry humans that are in search to fill their empty souls.  

There is however a stinky odor we ooze if we can’t be used as bait and if we are not right with the Lord. As St. Augustine stated, we have been created in such a way that we only know and experience true fulfillment when we, by grace, faithfulness and love, dwell in God’s presence, and He in our midst. So in other words, if we chose to fill this empty hole with other things, we will spend our lives chasing our tail around in circles searching in vain for fulfillment and yet never ever satisfying the unreachable itch. So then, how can you catch fish?

As St. Luke records: “Cease being afraid; from henceforth thou shalt be taking men alive.” [Lk. 5:10]  St. Augustine instructs us: “Do what you can, and then pray that God will give you the power to do what you cannot.” We need to intentionally make a daily effort to move closer to God. We as Christians do not want to be stinky bait but power bait! Because the power of His life-cleansing blood can even save a sinner like me! And through His love for me, I can give love to those hurting and not yet in His bountiful net of salvation. Be fragrant and not a stinker, be a Myrrhbearer! Glory to Thee!!!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 10-11-2020

EMPTY WoRdS

Have you been crucified with Christ? [Gal. 2:20] What exactly does that mean for us here in 2020? St. Theophan tells us: “True, one may know man’s final goal: communion with God. And one may describe the path to it: faith, and walking in the commandments, with the aid of divine grace. One need only say in addition: here is the path-start walking!” St. Theophan The Recluse, The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation

Many folks today say they are Christian and yet they fail to regularly attend church (there is usually something more important preventing them from attending), they fail to set aside their first fruit as their tithe (bills, bills, and more bills), they allow their selfishness to navigate their lives (excuses, excuses, excuses), and they always promise to make great strides next week, month or year and get back on the narrow path (tic-tock, tic-tock). They waste their breath slobbering out empty words while lying through their teeth! Simply put, you are either here or you’re not.

I wish I knew what I could do to help people commit to a more righteous path for their salvation. I wish I had an evident cure for anything and everything that is keeping people away from living the true faith! I wish my poor, poor prayers could heal everyone and give them a bountiful life, but it takes cooperation. Unlike many folks in the West, the true teaching of our salvation is faith and works! You need to attend the meetings; it is a step process as we ascend the Divine Ladder! There are no shortcuts! You are either here, or you’re not!

That towering ant hill we are building in all of our busyness is going to be flattened by the big footprint of life, it just won’t matter! Our existence here is temporary! What really matters is our soul! Where will it reside when it leaves our body? Will you be prepared for Judgment Day? We are not God, He is! We need to wipe that slobbering excuse off our face and get busy, our afterlife depends on it!

Our combination of faith and action helps mold us into being myrrhbearers. Salivation would be extremely hard existing in this world without the supportive structure of the church. There are too many temptations and heartaches in life to be separated from the support of the church. She needs you and you need her. This is a place where broken wounded people come for healing. Which path are you on? You are either here, or you’re not!

“I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ liveth in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live in faith, in that of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.   [Gal. 2:20]

Fr. Gabriel Weller 10-4-2020

BENT NAILS

Many years before the wooden cross was erected, by the deceit of the devil, man was exiled from the garden of paradise. It was in the garden that man dared to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. And by the fruit of the wood, the Devil subjected us to exile, but through the wood of the cross we were then nourished and the Most-High King declared us heirs to His kingdom and freed us from our bondage of sin.

In ancient times, it was on a piece of wood that Moses lifted up the serpent of bronze when the Lord commanded the people to look upon it and be healed (Numbers 21:4-9). In doing so, Moses gave us a sign to remember when the one True Cross would come and heal us of our brokenness; it is a sign that the Lord has promised never to abandon us if we place our trust in Him.

Moses also recounts in Genesis the instructions to Noah: “Make thee an ark of gopher wood.” By following our Lord’s instructions very vigilantly, wood was used to build an ark and sustain mankind from the deep consuming waters of sin and death.

Wood has always been something I have been fascinated with. I have watched since my eyes were opened the use of wood in the construction of furniture, homes, fences, and barns. I love the different grain and color of lumber. At an early age I was introduced to carpentry and given a hammer and some nails and instructed to practice hitting the nail on the head with only the head of the hammer. Of course granddad gave me 10 penny spiral nails to practice with that were hard to bend. And he was wise enough to give me a hammer with a fiberglass handle which was resistant to splitting when I missed the nail head and struck the nail with the hammers’ handle. Somehow I also managed to bend a few of his unbendable nails!

I have also spent time in the old barns studying how the huge wooden beams were joined together and attached with wooden pegs. They look strong and more than able to carry the enormous amount of weight from the lofts full of hay and grain and the dead weight of the snow as it gathers in the winter months!

However, those huge beams holding the barn and its’ heavy load are merely toothpicks when compared to the strength of the wood of the ancient cross. Of course, the barn beams are more massive in girth and length but you must observe that the wood of the Holy Cross sustains an enormous amount of weight! Upon our Lord’s wooden cross rests the weight of all humanities sins and brokenness, all of our failures and lust for ungodliness.

Just as my Grandfather knew I would on occasion miss the mark and jamb the hammer handle onto the nail head, our Father knows that we too will miss the mark of perfection but by His bountiful love, we can be renewed by means of the Holy Cross. “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”(Psalm 34:8) He sent His son who suffered and died on the Holy Cross, and then for our benefit descended into Hades, freed the captives and arose on the third day! Won’t you deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Christ? Life is full of bent nails! But just as the night is not permanent but redeemed in every sunrise, your debt has been cancelled and you belong to a family that yearns for your salvation. We pray: O Lord, save your people, and bless your inheritance!” (Troparion of the Holy Cross)

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2005- 9-27-2020

PATCHES

Of all the dirty jobs I have had over the years, I would have to say harvesting hay and straw is at the top of my dirty job list. Not only was that job a real workout in the heat of the summer, the amount of dust, dirt and allergens circulating around me was like an intense fog rolling down the mountain moistening my skin. Handling the hay bales gave me thorns in my hands and arms and holes in my Wrangler Jeans. Usually by the end of summer my clothes had patches on top of patches!

At the end of the day, I had dirt where my eyes couldn’t see and Grandma Hazel would have to visually check my clothing and see if I was even allowed in the house. And then of course when it was time to eat, Grandma would send me back to the sink again, where another heavy application of soap was necessary before I could sit at the table next to Granddad, the ear thumper! Yes sir, manners were taught at that table.

Clothes and skin come clean with some strong soap and heavy scrubbing. Holes in our clothing can be repaired and I am sure patches will be popular again real soon as I have noticed a lot of torn clothes being worn by our youth in much need of repair. You may want to stock up now on patches now as they may fly off the shelf like toilet paper when the patches wave hits!

We all have been invited to the table of our Lord, won’t you come? Won’t you put on your wedding garment by revisiting your Holy Baptism where you were clothed in the garment of salvation, laying aside the filthy old man? In the confessional the dirt of sin is removed and then washed by the blood of the Lamb which awaits you at the chalice in celebration of our mystical union with our Savior Jesus Christ. After all, that is why we are here!

If you come today to bring your children to receive these precious gifts mystically found here in the chalice, thank you. Glory be to God! It is important for them to be here and truly a blessing, but why not you? Do you really think the dirt and holes in your baptismal garment have made you unworthy? Our Lord offered His most precious life for you! Won’t you come? Come to confession and let those deep wounds begin to heal. Our Father will bind your rotting flesh and patch your life back together as only He can do, if you will allow Him in. We need you, we are family!   

A new day is coming, get out of you death bed and come to the wedding. St. John Chrysostom adds this warning: “Great is the punishment for those who have been idle, indifferent, and lazy. For even as those who showed insolence and gave injury by not coming, so also dost thou by thus reclining with a life corrupted.” [Mt. 22:12.] [Ib., P.G. 58:681, 682 (cols. 650, 651)

Fr. Gabriel Weller 9-13-2020