April 26, 2015

Companions on the Journey
With the Holy Spirit

EASTER SEASON: WEEK III

Our Easter Season church banner symbols for the Journey.
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 Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit. God dwells within us through the gift of Baptism. We need only to look inside to experience God. The Holy Spirit gifts, guides and invites us to live our mission to do Christ’s work our Opus Christiservice to our brothers and sisters on every step.

We are Companions on the Journey with God and with each other. The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they companion one another in a bond of divine and human love. The word companion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and panis-bread. We “break bread” and share meals with the ones we love.

The Host and Chalice remind us of the precious Sacrament of the Eucharist where we share intimate communion with the Lord, our Bread of Life, and with each other.
The Cross in the center of the Host is the sign of our belief in the love of our God, Father, and Holy Spirit.
The Vertical line of the Cross calls to mind that everything, everyone and even we are From God.
The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to share our gifts For Others.

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 the power of the Holy Spirit at work within and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love, 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 as Superheroes for Christ animates us through Baptism, Confirmation and with spiritual gifts. The power of the Holy Spirit that thrives in us is from God and for others.

Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
LifeTeen.com (freely adapted)

  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things and to trust in Providence.
  • Understanding is seeing and feeling with the heart, God’s truth, beauty and goodness in ourselves, others and in our world.
  • 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.
  • Fortitude emboldens us to dream of what is possible and to freely take risks to make that vision a reality.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Piety (Reverence) is gratefully experiencing God in mind, heart and will in creation, ourselves and others and living ‘as Christ’ for others.
  • Fear of the Lord meaning “ WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement Our sin, weakness and every difficulty is God’s opportunity to manifest the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives –WOW!

WEEK III Reflection: Wisdom and Understanding

Upon admission to the Toronto Zoo, the attendant suggested that the most enjoyable way to tour the zoo was to visit each animal group at their feeding time. The visitors were surprised to observe the animals “working” for their food. For example, the Primates’ diet of nuts and fruits were placed in cylinders and odd looking contraptions. The animals were required to use thinking, dexterity and a great effort to extract their meal. The game’s keeper shared that research teaches that the animal’s efforts improved their minds, bodies and spirits. Animals could live by just being fed but their participation in the process affords to them challenges and an enriching experience that leads to greater health in every way.

Being nourished spiritually requires a concentrated effort on our part. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given freely to us but we need to work with them to experience greater spiritual health in every way.

The gift of wisdom nourishes us when we recognize that we need to think, pray and choose our actions using the gift. Wisdom helps us to discern how God is present in our lives and how we are being called to respond to the spirit working within us.

The gift of understanding gives us insight and is possible when we actively look for truth, beauty and goodness and reflect on our experience in prayer with God. Understanding opens our minds and hearts so that we develop feelings of empathy and compassion that motivate us to take right and generous actions for the good of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Reflection and Action
The Eucharist is the sacrament that fosters wisdom and understanding through hearing God’s Word and through spiritual nourishment from receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord.

  1. What is my commitment to weekly Eucharist? Why is this so? How am I being called to participate more fully?
  2. Which Scripture verse or story seems wise and awakens me to God’s presence or a change in my behavior for the better?
  3. Do I or loved ones need the Lord to help motivate me for more regular participation in the Eucharist? Discuss this with the Lord.
  4. What is the spiritual work that will lead me to greater health in every way?
  5. The word Eucharist means, “To give thanks.” One of the most productive works that I can do spiritually is to gratefully reflect on God’s goodness to me. For what am I grateful?

What one action can I take for the good of another to express my gratitude to God?

Awaken to God’s Bountiful Gifts

Giving thanks before meals is a holy practice which keeps us mindful that all that we have is a gift From God.

Making a Sign of the Cross as a simple blessing or grace before a meal is a way to reflect our Mission to share our gifts For Others.

Give thanks with a prayer of grace before each meal.

Trace the sign of the cross, saying or thinking:

Grace means gift; we acknowledge all that comes From God and remember to share what we have and are For Others.

Celebrating Pentecost 2015: May 24th

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 Fr. Jared 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, all 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.

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Widow and Widowers

The Monday Night Group: April 27th and May 11th at 6:30 PM.
The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 PM.

Separated & Divorced Support Group

Divorce Healing Group: 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, 7:00 PM in the Molloy Center on April 27th, May 11th.

Knights of Columbus

For many years, you, the parishioners of St. Philip have contributed generously to the Several Sources Shelter Program for women and their unborn children through the “Baby Bottle Program”. This year to increase our commitment as a parish community we will replace the “Baby Bottle Program” with the Second Collection next weekend, May 2nd and 3rd.

Please be as generous as you have been in the past in supporting the women and the unborn. Thank you and God bless you!

Comedy Night

K of C 2nd Annual Comedy Night is May 16th in the auditorium. Dinner buffet and show $35! For tickets call Jack Jaeger: 973. 985.0761 or Mike Andolino: 201.953.4724.

Prime Timers

St. Philip’s Prime Timers will hold their May meeting on Friday, May 1st at 1:00 PM in the Molloy Center. Frank Fattarosa, a multi-talented entertainer is the guest speaker. Members are reminded that this will be the only opportunity to pay for the June luncheon. The cost is $12 per person which can be paid in cash or check. Nominations for 2015-2016 officers will be made at this meeting for June elections.

The Prime Timers is open to any parishioner of St. Philip’s and their friends age 50 and over.

Atlantic City Bus Trip

Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. The cost is still $25.00 with a casino bonus of $25.00. Bring a photo I.D. Departure time is 10:00 AM sharp. Please call Barbara Rzepecki at 973-278-1566.

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