April 10, 2016

COMPASSION ON THE JOURNEY

Compassion on the Journey is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.

You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The church banner pictured above displays our Easter Theme symbols. Our journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from “glory to glory” (2Cor.3:18). Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of the Risen Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The image above is of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem.
Our focus is on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. Appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion.

St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”

Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Easter Prayer :

Resurrected Glory – guide our hearts to serve
Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace.

EASTER WEEK II

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work animates us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts.  During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”
  • Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.
  • Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.
  • Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.
  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.
Scripture
  • The Apostles witness to the Risen Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifests in their lives with courage.
  • Revelation casts a vision of all creation giving praise and honor to God gratefully for ever and ever.
  • The Risen One reveals himself to the disciples after they have spent the night fishing and have caught nothing. Jesus instructs them to try again and they are gifted with an amazing catch. Recognizing Jesus, they share a breakfast prepared for them by the Lord. WOW!
REFLECTION:  A Bathrobe

Picture your bathrobe. Bathrobes make us feel vulnerable. It is difficult to be authoritative and to demand respect while wearing a bathrobe. Barbara Holland has written an article suggesting that  if presidents, prime ministers, generals and leaders of all sorts were only allowed to wear bathrobes – at all times – what a different world it would be. Putting on a bathrobe takes off our public mask and reveals a shared humanity.

In today’s Gospel, the All Powerful Risen Christ continues to reveal his compassionate heart in his concern for whether or not the disciples had breakfast. Jesus demonstrates that God’s own heart is overflowing with understanding and compassion for our vulnerable humanity – we are God’s bathrobe people.  Jesus is concerned and present to his friends in their failed work, their hungry bellies and their broken hearts with missing him. Jesus doesn’t blind them with the Light of his Glory but rather provides an intimate breakfast meal prepared by his own wounded hands.

Our invitation each day is to take off our public mask, to lay aside the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves and to put on our bathrobes before God in prayer. The Risen Christ is present to us, deeply interested in our hungers, our failures, our fears, our heartbreaks as well as in our joys, triumphs and in our many reasons to give God thanks and praise.

When we are honest and vulnerable with God we become open to God’s power at work in our lives. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us – God’s bathrobe people – to enable and empower us to think, act and live in a more Christ like way.

In prayer we learn that Jesus is interested in whether or not we have had breakfast and in so very much more. When we wear our bathrobe with God, we encounter God’s understanding and compassion. Receiving God’s compassion empowers us to give God’s compassion. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the ways that God enables us to offer compassion and understanding to our fellow bathrobe wearers, who are every man, woman and child we meet.

Activity

(Put on your bathrobe.) Re-read carefully the list of The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and then prayerfully reflect on the following:

  • What gifts do I see active in my life? How?
    Thank God.
  • Where am I vulnerable, hungering for something, fearful, angry, resentful? Be Honest. What gift do I need to experience more fully?
  • How is God inviting me to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit more profoundly in my life?
  • Who in my life is in need of my gifts?
  • What one action will I take to share my gifts: Time, Talent, Treasure?
RCIA

Resurrected Glory, guide our hearts to serve.

The last session of the RCIA is this Monday, April 11th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. Our topic is Opus Christi, spiritual, social and service ministry.  All are invited.

To read complete bulletin click here