Go Around!

Many times as we are traveling we are asked to go around an obstacle, whether it is a fender-bender, road construction, stalled vehicle, loose cattle or whatever. In order for us to get to where we need to be, we need to detour a bit before we can get back on the path that leads to where we really need to be.

On this the second Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the healing of the Paralytic. Not all the healings of our Lord were written about because there were so many, but this story was deemed important enough to be heard again and again. The paralytic wanted to be healed but there were obstacles in his way. Fortunately he had surrounded himself with like-minded folks going the same way and willing to help.

Many times as I try to move closer to God obstacles spring up from out of nowhere like Spring Daffodils in March! Some of these derailments seem to be life itself but many are the choices I have made. Sometimes the obstacles in our way can be seen more clearly when we gaze into the mirror and see the greatest obstacle, the one standing there looking back at us, the great stained image of lacking. This lackey is one lacking to love God more than self and laziness or allowing stuff to obstruct us on our path, the only bridge across the great divide; the road to salvation. (Zechariah 14)

St. Gregory Palamas taught that our soul or nous has an appetite directed towards God “the only good one, the only judge, the only one who provides pleasure unmixed with any pain. “But when the nous is in the unnatural state, when it departs from God and is darkened, then desire is dispersed into many self-indulgent appetites: “drawn on the one hand towards a desire for foods that are not needed, secondly towards the desire for unnecessary things, and thirdly towards the desire for vain and inglorious glory”.

Where is it that we really need to be? Listen to St. Gregory: “We who are in Christ’s ranks should long for the world above. Let our desire be directed towards the kingdom He promised us. Let us shun enjoyments which drag down our soul, fear the hell-fire with which pleasure-lovers are threatened, flee self-indulgence, drunkenness, fornication, prodigality(extravagance), greed, injustice, vanity, pride, hatred, anger and inhumanity. These are the things which give the evil one power, alas, over ourselves and the world. We should escape from the world’s deception and from its prince, and show through our good works that we are the work of God’s good hands. By so doing, we shall make best use of the present, and enjoy the promised eternal benefits when the time comes.” (St. Gregory Palamas – Homily 33)

Which path are we on? The crippled paralytic knew the path to take. With each step we take and each detour we make we should constantly be checking our compass as we head towards the Eastern Gate and the return of our Savior. May the prayers of all the Saints and the Blessed Theotokos help and guide us on our journey. Glory to Thee!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-24-19

CAR-WASH

I felt the need earlier this week to wash my car unknowingly just days before our next winter weather event. It had warmed up outside a little, the early spring birds had been chirping in the morning hours and the grey days of winter seem to be loosening their grip a little. I chose the automatic bay as I swiped my frequent washers card only to be rejected. I had no available credit left so I used another piece of plastic and into the wash I went, minus nine plastic dollars. It is nice to have a clean car but it is also important to wash away all the abrasive ice-melting chemicals that have attached themselves to the sensitive metal parts of my vehicle. Those chemicals are great for melting ice but really bad for rotting away metal. So without leaving the comfort of my heated seat, the exterior of car would be cleaned! And then when I got home with a little effort, I used our shop-vac that sucked out all the loose dirt and debris on the inside of my car.

I got on this topic of clean because this upcoming week is clean week for the Orthodox. We begin clean week with a time to ask forgiveness of our church family and friends. Lent is a spiritual growth time of self-examination, and it usually is a struggle with our pride, anger and at times our health, as we try to navigate the waters where we deny ourselves of our usual worldly habits and make more time for Him.

All of the Orthodox Lenten practices are done to help us grow closer to God and give up a little more of our control by changing our usual routines. Hopefully we will increase our Orthodoxy during this Lent and continue even when meat and cheese becomes our staples once again. We begin clean week with a wash-cycle of forgiveness. Blasting away at these sins that cling onto our hearts and rot away our love of Creation by showing great mercy on each and everyone, just as your Father has shown great mercy on you! Or as St Paul says: “Carry one another’s burdens, because it is the way in which you will have fulfilled the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)

It takes an effort, rather than choosing the auto-wash where we sit on our butts instead of taking action with a scrub brush of prayer, repentance and forgiveness. We see in the writings from the prophet Joel: “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” (Joel 2:12)

The word “lent” is derived from the Germans and means “the beginning of life.” And so it is with us that just as a rose bush must be pruned before spring removing all the dead wood we too must sever our magnetic hold on the world and our love of ourselves! In order to love God intensely we must learn to love all of His creation. Not the kind of love where we have to agree with everyone and their choices but the kind of love that hopes for eternity for everyone.

And as for my clean car, of course it snowed once again and I will need to return to the car wash this week. Just like the dirt on my car, Lent it is a constant practice to clean ourselves. We have so many opportunities over the next several weeks here at the church to help us get clean, check out our calendar. Identifying as a Christian is not so much a word as it is a plan of action.

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-10-2019

OLE GOAT

Who am I? My love-of-self tells me I am a knight in shining armor and should be very comfortable with my efforts thus far! But in reality, I am an ole goat! Let me take a moment to explain how I came to this rationality!

When I was a young man, I had land that was overgrown and out of control and so I purchased a young nanny goat that we named Geraldine. Geraldine became a pet and would follow me around like a dog and even go for a ride in my Ford Escort. As she grew older she became less of a pet and more like a goat. The overgrown lot was more than she could handle so I traveled to the stock sale and bought a Billy goat that we named Geronimo. As they grew I quickly learned not to turn my back on them, especially Geronimo, as I seemed to be invading his space. The Billy wreaked havoc on my brush and outside my fence line at the neighbors Christmas tree farm. Geronimo and I became a bit unpopular with the neighbors, although his efforts while he was inside the fence did clear the lot. The goats loved all the wild vines and shoemake trees, and of course the neighbors Christmas trees! Sorry Harry Lee, the Christmas tree farmer.

Now sheep on the other hand tend to stick together and follow their leader. There is strength in numbers where as my goats never backed down from anything and were very independent. Many times Geronimo would be standing on top of a stump like he was the king! I tried to negotiate with him and explain his place in life and in the pecking order of things but he was only listening to his own drummer. He became more and more hard-headed and eventually Geronimo and I took a ride back to the stock sale due to his neglect of my fence, his love of evergreen needles and his dominance over everything and everyone.

Well, this ole goat tends to be a bit like that hard-headed Billy goat that used to deny my fence and savor Christmas trees. We heard in the Gospel reading this morning about the sheep being on Christ’s right and the goats on His left. “Then shall the King say to those on His right, ‘Come, ye who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world. [Mt. 25:34]

As a goat, I tend to neglect the needs of others because I am too busy with my own stuff. Archimandrite Thaddeus of Strabulovich said:”There are no atheists! They do not exist. Even the enemy believes and trembles; only he does not do good!”(Archimandrite Thaddeus Strabulovich of Vitovnica)

Righteous Martyr Maria, an Orthodox nun who helped many needy folks in Paris during WWII, including saving many Jews, was herself arrested and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp because of her acts of love. Before she died, she stated: “At the last judgment I shall not be asked if I was successful in my ascetic exercises or how many prostrations I made in the course of my prayers. I shall be asked one thing: did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners; that is all I shall be asked.”

As the church moves into the nurture of lent, let us be more about seeing and helping with each other’s needs, performing acts of kindness, practicing patience and forgiveness and be about following the examples Christ gave us, and in that we will become more like a right-sided sheep and less like an independent ole hard-headed goat!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 3-3-2019

FREE-WILL

We hear in the Gospel Reading this morning the story of the son enticed by the world and its emptiness who realized he needed to find his way back to his father. (Luke 15:11-32) As I take a moment to reflect on the choices I have made thus far in my life, if I am honest I would have to say I wrestled with God for control of most of my life and still do.

In truth, if we let our free-will lead us away from God we are surrendering ourselves to the devil, becoming his slave and turning our backs on God. What seems like freedom only entraps us with addictions as we have less time for God and a false need for stuff or temporary pleasure where true happiness is not present. There is nothing normal about missing church services only abnormal temptations keeping us away. We become our own god with our self-love and its hate-potion that brings us more into solitude and separated from the flock of believers and to a place where the evil one will quickly corner and devour us.

Is the pig-slop the world is offering us really that good? Why do we keep eating it then? Our Father has prepared a great banquet for us, won’t you come? Every week we offer confession and communion and He is here, welcome home! Let us spit the rancid worldly slop out of our mouths and come home. He loves YOU! He wants to be your Father! Our Creator wants a son and a daughter, not a slave, and He will give your soul a place of rest when your time on Earth is finished. What does the world have to offer?

True freedom only comes from obeying God. A friend of mine some years ago asked me this simple question: If you’re not serving God, then who are you serving? St. Justin Popovich writes: “In truth there is only one freedom – the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false; that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.” + St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters, II.36

Walking away from God enslaves us to death so we have the freedom to choose life in Christ or death in the world. Christ conquered death with His death so that you and I can choose a life of freedom, a life without end, a life lived in His will. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)

In the kontakion we heard today: “I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You had given me. Therefore, I cry to You like the Prodigal: “I have sinned before You, O compassionate Father; receive me a penitent and make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Kontakion of the Prodigal Son)

Come Home!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-24-2019

FICTION NOVEL

On occasion I believe we all sometimes are oblivious to our surroundings. Wither we are sleep-deprived or mentally stuck on something, someone or somewhere; we focus only on ourselves and our pain or pride, ignoring our precious limited time on this Earth and blinded of everyone around us. The Pharisee in the Gospel reading today was way past this point of self indulgence. His love-of–self had written a fiction novel that portrayed himself as truly the unstained knight in shining armor! He had in his abundance of pride, covered himself with fig leaves hiding from God.

St. Paisios of Mount Athos writes: “The person who has too high an opinion of himself remains in the fog of pride and has neither spiritual health nor spiritual vision, and is therefore unable to see the gifts and talents of others.” (Passions and Virtues) Our Lord reminds us in the Gospel reading this morning: “for everyone who exalteth himself shall be humbled, and the one who humbleth himself shall be exalted.” [Lk. 18:14]

So many times I find myself thankful I am not like the bunch of crazies I see protesting on the video feed from the cable network. It is so much easier to be intolerant of their viewpoint then it is to hear their story and somewhat understood how they came to that place of action. Recently I was on my pro-life bandwagon after the outbreak of infanticide support when someone with an opposite view started dialoguing about why she has come to believe that a woman should have the right to choose. She has certainly lived a different life and neither one of us was going to change each other’s mind. At the end of the day, I felt a bit like the Pharisee as I was thankful that my life-story had led me on higher ground, safely inside my fig leaf.

How do we help folks find a true understanding and not fiction? We have to honestly study our pages of life and realize we too are in need of a Savior. People are hurting; the evil one has successfully separated us all from God in one way or another. So how can we help each other? If we can learn to practice philotimo {fil-o-te-me-a},”the most grateful love of a humble person who does not put his own self whatsoever into whatever he does, and whose heart is full of spiritual refinement, sensitivity and gratefulness to God and to the images of God, his fellow human beings. Philotimo is a most polished love of a humble person and a grateful love which is all goodness and humility.” (Passions and Virtues)

I won’t give up my firm stance on the sanctity of life but I will try to love others as He loves me. He hasn’t given up on me and I shouldn’t give up on others, no matter how crazy they seem! And I shall pray that God transform the fictitious chapters that still exist in my life into hopefully one day being a true story about a man in love with Christ!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-17-2019

RIP-TIDE

Some summers ago, I was offshore in about fifty inches of warm ocean water about twenty five yards from the shoreline when I found myself moving further and further down the coastline. I could still see my beach chair and umbrella but as I would try to go ashore, the current would drag me down the coast. I was beginning to panic as I struggled to get closer to the shore.

 

When these incidents happen in life we tend to reflect upon our life choices and our relationship with our Maker. We also come to a realization of how little control we have at these times. It was quite a battle to fight the strong currents and arrive at a safe place. I was exhausted or as my Grandma Hazel would say, I was spent! I had no more to give, no more energy to draw from. Another twenty minute or so of struggle and it may have led to a different outcome.

 

At these moments in our lives we tend to realign our priorities because we have felt the fragileness of human life as we catch a glimpse of our mortal death. Wither we are struggling with our health or a close call in our daily activities, our time here on this Earth is temporary. St Anthony the Great said, “If you want to be prepared for death, live every day of your life as if it’s the last one!”

 

In the Wisdom of Solomon, we see: “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.”(Wisdom of Solomon 1.13) And from the prophet Ezekiel: “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD, “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezek 18:32) “Sin spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom 5.12); and in sinning, man brought death to their children. In our world, everyone is caught up in the sins of the world. Death is the final victory of the evil one. We are made in God’s image and inspired with the Holy Spirit but we continue to choose sin and its death over a righteous life. (cf. Gen 3, Rom 5.12–21).

 

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15.52–57) Brothers and sisters there is still hope! By the power of Christ and the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians can and must transform their deaths into acts of life. They must face the tragedy of death with faith in the Lord, and defeat the “last enemy—death” (1 Cor 15.26) by the power of their faith in a loving Creator. Christ has defeated death and offers you one way to live! Pull yourselves up out of the dark, earthly Rip-Tide that is moving you further away from Divine love!

 

If you do not love God with all your heart and all your soul, you will not find life before you die and you will not find it after death, and when death overtakes you and you enter into the presence of pure love you will resist it, it will cause you unrest. St. Ambrose puts it like this: “You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing — preparing yourself for death.”(St. Ambrose of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) St. John of Damascus writes:” What earthly sweetness remains unmixed with grief? What glory stands immutable on the earth? All things are but feeble shadows, all things are most deluding dreams, yet one moment only, and death shall supplant them all. But in the light of Thy countenance, O Christ, and in the sweetness of Thy beauty, give rest to him whom Thou hast chosen, for as much as Thou lovest mankind.”

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2/10/2019

STRIKE

At the local bowling alley down the street, you are supposed to roll a heavy ball down the lane and knock down all the pins. If you knock all the pins down with one try, they call it a strike and you get a high perfect score which is recorded as an “X” on your scorecard.

 

My wife and I don’t bowl very often at all maybe because my wife is a better bowler than me or maybe it is the funny looking shoes that they rent to everybody that comes in, unless of course you own your own special funny looking shoes. But in the past when we have bowled, occasionally I will roll a strike but usually I am excited to just see the ball connect with a couple of pins and to hear that sound of success and see pins go flying away.

 

In order to help control the ball, they drilled finger holes in the ball. And some of the bowlers put a special spin on the ball and even as the ball approaches the pins it may be way of course and then all of a sudden correct its course and hit the sweet spot on the frame of pins. But as for me, I usually send a couple of these heavy bowling balls into the gutter and once or twice I accidentally hurl the heavy rock onto the lane next to ours which helps me with my humility as I beg their forgiveness for my poor performance and lack of practice.

 

For beginners the bowling alley can install bumper pads on each side of the lane preventing the ball from diving into the gutter and almost assuring that your ball is going to knock down some pins! It is the bowling alleys way of helping young and poor bowlers to have a better chance at a perfect score or at least improving their game. After all, a great bowler practices a lot! What does all that have to do with our walk with Christ?

 

On our lane to salvation, we all struggle staying on course and knocking down all the pins! We sometimes do a half-way job leaving pins standing by allowing self-love to blur our vision on the lane to salvation, controlling the heavy ball ourselves without His help. His mercy is similar to the bumper pads laying in the gutter at the bowling alley. His mercy is both the gift of grace and the forgiveness of sins which help us stay on course. Our repentance lifts us out of the gutter and His grace helps us stay on the correct lane sending us down the alley that leads us to the bosom of Abraham or the sweet spot on this frame we know as life. Just as at the bowling alley a perfect score for us is also illustrated with an “X”, coming from the Greek letter Chi abbreviating the all holy name, Christós (Χριστός) or Christ.

 

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. But for this cause I was shown mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to those who are about to believe on Him to life everlasting.” [1 Tim. 1:15-16] Practice makes perfect so don’t be ashamed of failing or letting people see your funny looking shoes that are carrying you on the correct path to salvation and to hear that sound of triumphant success, Welcome Home!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 2-3-2019

HAPPY LIGHT

I was told last week that for $39.95 I could purchase a “Happy Light.” I immediately went wireless to Amazon and ordered two! That seems like a reasonable amount of money to find true happiness! This year has been darker than most with more precipitation in our area than usual, breaking many monthly precipitation records. With the lack of ample sunlight, my serotonin level is low and my attitude seems to be wilting a bit. I plugged this source of happiness into the wall outlet and the light flooded my brain with 10,000 Lux UV blocked bright full spectrum white light therapy, which is recommended by professionals, whomever they are? But is it true happiness?

 

Light is such an important necessity in our lives. Can you imagine living a life without it? Light provides for our food source through its energy and helps keep me from injury as I would be constantly bumping into things, stumbling and falling. Perhaps this bright happy light is helping my health and my mood but does it bring about true happiness?

 

From the Gospel this morning we heard: “the people who sit in darkness saw a great light; and to those who sit in the region and shadow of death, light rose up to them.” [Mt. 4:16] Our engagement with sin leads us into darkness and out of the Uncreated Light. “Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.” (St. John Chrysostom) So we need to become more like Him, more like the pure Light, which is true happiness!

 

There is hope for us in that Christ has come to wash away our darkness and decay in the pure waters of Theophany, “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which hath been lost.” [Lk. 19:10] Saint John says: “He who is the true Light has come into the world.” (Jn 3:19) And In our baptism, Christ clothes us in a garment of light to cover our nakedness, which had reduced us to the slavery of sin of our mortal flesh in a world overwhelmed in death and decay. St. Nikolai Velimirorich writes: “Repentance is the abandoning of all false paths that have been trodden by men’s feet, and men’s thoughts and desires, and a return to the new path: Christ’s path.”

 

Of course there is a cost for this pure joy found on Christ’s path and it is a lot more than $39.95; it will cost you your life, 100% of it! Dying daily to the Holy Waters of baptism, over and over again, or as Saint Paisius put it: “I wish you many years — but not for them to be too happy, because happiness in the world isn’t really so healthy. When a man is too happy in this world, he forgets God and forgets death.” Turn from choices that take you away from the One who created you through humility and repentance and daily increase your time basking with the SON who baptized you in the waters of Jordan!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 1/20/2019

OUR INNOCENTS

The Gospel writer today takes us back to a time of great sorrow, a time when greed and pride demanded the elimination of all male children under the age of two. It was a time when a king wanting to defend his throne from the plans made by the Almighty at any cost. The Gospel writer records it as this: “A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” [Mt. 2:18]

 

It was a sad time then but King Herod is still alive today in our communities, in our Congress and even in the hearts of some of our judges. We see this great travesty in the destruction of our Holy Innocents in the name of convenience and science. These folks claiming to be God inform us when life begins. Our True God reminds the great profit Jeremiah: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee”. Don’t let your free-will shackle you with the scoundrel King Herod. We do not make babies, He does! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)

 

The Psalmist wrote: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. “(Psalm 139:13-16)

Perhaps the person with the ability to find the cure for cancer has been delimbed by our legal butchers in the abortion clinics. Perhaps the one to find a way to feed the worlds hungry has been sucked out of the womb and discarded in a dumpster. Perhaps the one sent to bring about world peace has been ripped to pieces and sold for science experiments. “Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. (Psalm 105[106]35-40)

 

Trusting in God means to let Him work for good in all things. Maybe we have made bad choices and a pregnancy is impossible now in our eyes, but truly a child is a gift from God. In Him all things are possible and in our submission, He can help us find our salvation. We cannot continue to allow this Christian nation to turn to the evil one. In our humility, we can repent and change this direction. But if not, His wrath will be felt upon this nation for generations to come!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 01-13-2019

4 am Feeding

I used to rise at 3:30 in the morning and head over to the farm while the sun was still sleeping behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. My first chore of the morning was to turn on the feed conveyors and start the silo unloader. We normally would add a wheel barrow full of a grain topper we had mixed by hand as the feed conveyor sent the corn silage from the silo out to the cattle troughs. Just the sound of the equipment running and the feed-room lights cutting through the darkness would wake the sleeping milk cows and set them on their feet and on the path to the gate below the barnyard. When the trough was full and the equipment turned off it was time to greet the girls and open the barnyard gate and let them into the pen just below the milk parlor.

 

Most of the cows were eager and always waiting and ready. There was always a little pushing and shoving as they hurriedly made their way into the milk line as the fragrance of corn silage stimulated their stomachs. And there were always a few I had to walk out to the pasture and drive to the barn usually with a cane; some of the milk cows had their own agenda and their own schedule. Once milked, it was time for them to eat and out of the parlor they went wasting no time as they found a place at the feed trough. The cows needed feed to sustain them and to be productive!

 

As for we humans, what is our routine? We go through the week and we all know the weekend is approaching. The Great Supper will be prepared and yet we tary to and fro playing around in the open fields of life. Will we chose to prepare ourselves on the path that leads to the Golden Gate and partake of the Great Supper, or continue to romp around with the devil in the open pastures?

 

Here in the church we hear the sounds of bells and the chanting of the Psalms that alert us that something great is coming. We smell the incense and see the preparations being made for our Lord’s Table. Won’t you come? There is nothing you have done that is greater than God’s forgiveness, you are all invited! For we all need the Bread of Life to sustain us and the Great Herdsman is looking for you, hoping you are willing and waiting at the gate.

 

Even the most stubborn of milk cows would eventually come into the barn and receive the necessary nourishment to sustain their existence. And we here our Lord in the Gospel reading this morning say: “Then the master of the house, having been provoked to anger, said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and maimed and lame and blind.’ [Lk. 14:21] Saint Ambrose wrote: “He sends to the streets, because He sent them to sinners, that they should come from the broad paths to the narrow way which leads to life [Mt. 7:13, 14].’” [Ib., Bk. VII, § 203.] We all need the Body and Blood of Christ to sustain Us! What are you waiting for, the Lord is calling, come, won’t you come?

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 12/30/2019