December 25, 2016
Christmas 2016 THEME
Your Gift is Wrapped and Prayer
OK GOD, WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?
Love is Good News
One Christmas Eve a mother has to tell her children some bad news. There would be no Christmas presents the next day because despite the mom’s every effort they are penniless. The children understand and tell the mom that all will be OK. They go to Christmas Eve Mass and hear the Gospel read in which the Angels proclaim, “Good News and great joy.” As the mom cries herself to sleep she wonders, “OK God, what is the Good News for us?”
Upon awakening she sees a Christmas stocking cut out of a brown paper bag taped to the wall over her bed. A candy cane is drawn in crayon and the word “Mom” is written on it. She also sees her children smiling at her with joy. Hugging her children to herself that Christmas morning the mom prays out loud, “OK God, you answered my prayer – our love is the Good News!”
Love is the Good News that makes even the most challenging situations OK. God’s love was shown to the mom in the story through the love and action of her children.
Prayer is Good News
When our lives are not OK, when we are not aware of any Good News, prayer is the key that sets us free to be OK. We pray, “OK God, what’s the Good News?” Prayer is the key that unlocks the treasure of the Good News.
Whether we feel OK or not, God is always giving to us and gifting us. God is always working in us, in others and in all ways. We call this God’s Providence. Prayer is the key to discovering the hidden treasure of God in all things.
Christmas is Good News
The birth and Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News this Christmas. The word Gospel means Good News. The Good News is that all is profoundly OK because God is Emmanuel – which translates God is with us. This Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ who is the Good News of transforming Love.
The birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ is the Good News of our salvation. Christmas celebrates God’s power at work in our lives. Jesus shared in our humanity so that we might share in God’s Divinity. We grow in holiness and this is Good News.
Knowing that God is always at work is the Good News that makes things OK. We are OK through faith and hope in God.
Christ is Good News
Christ is the Good News of LOVE that gifts us with relationships with other people.
Christ is the Good News that empowers us to work for peace and justice as God’s children for the flourishing of all people.
We Are Good News
As we gather for Christmas our deepest desire is to be Good News for one another, as were the children in our opening story.
This Christmas we wish to bring the Good News of Love to others through our words and deeds.
Good News: A Gift for You
During the season of Advent we have been – Wrapping Our Gifts in Prayer as a way to be Good News.
As a gift to you – you will be given a Christmas Ornament with a prayer inscribed on it.
This Ornament gift has been Wrapped in Prayer for you by the priests, deacons and pastoral staff.
One side of the Ornament reads in gold letters: Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer
On the other side is the prayer question: “OK God, what’s the Good News?”
A hand forms the OK sign which invites us to thank God in prayer for our Good News. When we thank God it is like a burst of light making us OK deep within.
Your OK Ornament can be hung on your Christmas tree.
Your OK Ornament is intended to be a reminder and a symbol of God’s desire to enter into a relationship with you in prayer.
Praying your Good News
Spend a few moments before hanging your OK Christmas Ornament on your Christmas tree in prayer.
Think about what is Good News in your life. Thank God for the gift of family and friends. Use your imagination and wrap them in your prayer with love.
Praying Good News for Others
Give the gift of your prayer for those who are in need that you know. Pray for those who may not know God’s love.
Thank God that you are already helping others and doing God’s work; your offertory gift in the collection goes to enable Christ’s Mission. Our gifts become tangible service in caring for the practical needs of others, through ministry, our church, in our community and in our diocese. We are Stewards of God’s gifts.
Good News – Wrapping this up…
Wherever you are right now on the journey there is the Good News of God’s presence and the Good News of God’s gifts in your life.
Weary or excited, worried or relieved, sorrowing or rejoicing – Pray.
Open your heart to Christ who is always providing for us.
Discover through prayer God’s Good News of love this Christmas and always.
As you place your OK Ornament on your Christmas tree be open and remember the Good News that… ……
With God’s love and from our hearts,
Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer
Pastoral Care Survey
Our parish mission of Opus Christi, to do Christ’s work, includes promoting and enabling the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of our community. In order to better serve you we hope to expand our Pastoral Care services in the areas of relationship and parenting workshops, caregiver and bereavement support, and spirituality programs. At the start of a New Year, we hope to address your pastoral care concerns with appropriate forums and programs. To incorporate your needs in our program development we ask that you kindly fill out the bulletin survey insert, or visit the StPhilip.org website and complete the survey online. Completed paper surveys can be placed in the Pastoral Care Survey drop box in the church vestibule until January 3.
PRAYER OPPORTUNITY: MEDITATION HOUR
“Lead me, Lord!”
Begin your year on a path of prayer. Join us on Thursday, January 5 at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room for prayer, guided meditation and reflection.
Journey with Us
Open Your Heart to God
Discover the Keys to the Kingdom
Are you interested in exploring your spiritual life?
Do you want to discover the abundance of God’s love and peace?
Would you like to have greater motivation for service?
Do you want to know more about the Catholic Faith?
Did you ever think about becoming a Catholic?
Are you a Baptized Catholic and have never made your First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you baptized in another faith and have a desire to become Catholic?
Have you never been baptized in any faith but wonder?
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US!
Our next session is Monday evening, January 9, 2017 from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Russo Room. We will discuss and reflect on the Gospel of John. Make-up sessions will be available.
All are welcome and invited to join us. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200.
Thank you to all parishioners who wrapped “we four priests” in your prayer and thoughtfully remembered us with gifts. Fr. Joe, Fr. Julio, Fr. Miguel, Fr. Kevin
Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: January 8
Grade 2: January 8, 22
Grades 7, 8: January 22
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: January 22
MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
• The Monday Night Group: January 9th & 23rd at 6:30 PM in the Left Conference of the Molloy Center.
• The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, January 11th & 25th at 7:00 PM.
Columbiette Blanket Ministry
The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 9:45 AM in the Molloy Center. All crafters are welcome. Blankets are donated to hospitalized children, chemotherapy patients, needy children, and the homebound of the community. For donations or further information, call Cathie Murtha at 973-471-1265.
ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL
SAINT PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Catholic Schools Week
January 30th – February 3rd, 2017
Tours by Appointment
The students prepared for the last days of school before Christmas break and looked forward to celebrating their annual 12 Days of Christmas song with Mrs. Zito. This event is one that the students truly love. The seventh grade students are studying weather and created weather reports and experiments to recreate weather. This was a real whirlwind of a lesson. In Digital Arts the students created digital photo Christmas cards from the school so don’t be surprised if you see one in your email! The Christmas Show was a wonderful success and we thank all who attended. We at St. Philip Preparatory School want to wish everyone a blessed and merry Christmas.
To read complete bulletin click here