April 24, 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. (For a clear view/see website)
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 SEASON

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 WEEK IV
  • Saints Paul and Barnabas proclaim the good news of the work being accomplished in the early Christian communities.
  • The Book of Revelation proclaims God’s activity in every situation. God promises, “Behold, I make all things new.”
  • Jesus gives a new commandment: “Love one another.”
REFLECTION:

A college student sneezes in the student center at Montclair State University. Lin, a Chinese student remarks, “In my culture, if you sneeze once it means that someone is missing you. If you sneeze twice someone is saying bad things behind your back. If you sneeze three times someone is speaking kindly about you.” The sneezer asks, “What if you sneeze four times?” Lin answers, “That’s easy, it means you caught a cold!” While we recognize the silliness of finding meaning in a sneeze, we recognize a human desire to make sense out of simple events – to find meaning, to discern the future.
This Sunday’s reading reminds us that our lives already have purpose and meaning. Jesus clearly teaches that our purpose is to, “Love one another.” The Good News of Christ is that we are here to make all things new for love. God gifts us with the Holy Spirit who teaches us Scripture, Church teaching and prayer to work for positive change in our world. The gift of Right Counsel helps us to discern what needs to be accomplished. The gift of Fortitude/Courage gives us the strength to make choices and to take actions that promote love, peace, justice and flourishing for all people in our world.

Activity

God promises to help us make things new for love. Reflection questions and prayer:

  • What can I do physically to be renewed – diet, exercise, making a change in my environment? (Fortitude)
  • What negative thought patterns need the touch of God’s grace? What positive thoughts should I encourage? (Discernment)
  • What one action can I take in my relationship with God? (Right Counsel)
  • What action can I take to lovingly support another person physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically or spiritually? (Courage)
UPCOMING PARISH EVENTS
GRADE 8 Musical Thursday, April 28 at 7 PM
Friday, April 29 at 10 AM
K OF C 20TH Anniversary Saturday, April 30 at 7 PM
VIVERE CHRISTUS Awards Sunday, May 15 at 3:30 PM
CHOIR Concert Sunday, May 22 at 4 PM
ST PHILIP PLAYERS Cabaret Thursday, June 2 at 7 PM
Fri. & Sat., June 3 & 4 at 8 PM
ROSARY Tea Sunday, June 5 at 2 PM
SR. CHRISTINE’S Farewell Saturday, June 11 6:30 PM
CARNIVAL Thursday – Friday – Saturday
June 16 – 17 – 18
CELEBRATING PENTECOST 2016: MAY 15TH

Multi-language Liturgy

Acts of the Apostles (2:4) reports that on the feast of Pentecost all were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” The multiple languages at Pentecost demonstrate God’s desire to be in relation with all people. God speaks to each heart in a unique way. Our celebration of Pentecost will be a multi-language liturgy serving as a symbol of God’s ongoing action to renew the face of the earth.

Volunteers are being sought to proclaim the Scripture readings and general intercessions in their native language. Please contact Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200 or dscancarella@stphilip.org for more information and to volunteer.

Festive Clothing

On the first Pentecost the Spirit hovered over the disciples like tongues of fire. The manifestation of God’s power symbolizes the fire of love that compels the followers of Jesus through spirituality, service and social ministry. Therefore, parishioners are invited to wear flame colors of red, yellow or orange. Our multi-colored glow will be a communal affirmation of our commitment to rekindle the fire of God’s love and to live our mission working for peace and justice with zeal.

Flag Bearers Needed

Our Pentecost Eucharist procession is led by our flag bearers. We are in need of six volunteers for each Mass on Pentecost weekend as carriers. The flags are more cumbersome than heavy; however moderate upper body strength is a requirement. A sign-up sheet for each Mass time can be found in the Sacristy.

DIOCESAN AWARD BESTOWED UPON RAY LILL

The Diocese of Paterson recognizes the service of the laity and religious as it awards the Annual VIVERE CHRISTUS AWARD. The title of the award is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:21, “for me to live is Christ.” The Bishop bestows this honor on behalf of the community of faith in gratitude for faithful stewardship given in the name of our Lord Jesus. Our parish recipient this year is Ray Lill; his letter of recommendation follows:
“As Pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish I most highly nominate Ray Lill for the Vivere Christus Award. Ray has been an active parishioner for 51 years serving faithfully as a member of the Parish Council,
usher, diligent worker at parish social and fundraising events, founder of the Msgr. Peter J. Doody Scholarship Fund, and liaison with our Knights of Columbus Council. Commitment to Christian service beyond our parish is another exemplary quality in Ray’s life. He is a co-founder of a Tank Pull for Veterans, co-chairman for Eva’s Village food drive, volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospital, member of the Board of Directors for Several Sources Foundation, and founder and chairman for the Colin Jones fundraiser.
Ray’s warmth and ability to bring people together to work for a common goal are gifts that enable Christ’s work to continue spiritually, socially and in service ministries.”
May our Lord continue to bless our brother Ray as he shares his gifts and talents in the name of Christ. The award will be given on Sunday, May 15th at a 3:30 PM Vesper Service at St. Philip with a light reception to follow in the auditorium.
All are welcome.

SAVE THE DATE

SR. CHRISTINE LIEGEY TO RETIRE FROM STAFF PARISH MINISTRY
After 36 years of faithful service Sr. Chris is retiring from Staff Parish Ministry. The good news is that Sister will continue to live in our community and will share her abundant gifts as a fellow parishioner. We will honor and celebrate Sr. Chris’ legacy of service: Saturday, June 11th at 5:30 PM Mass followed by a light meal and program in the auditorium.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES SCHEDULE
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: May 15
Grades 7, 8, Confirmation Grade 9, 10: May 1

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