February 12, 2017

What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9

Inspired by this weekend’s second reading, Donna Scancarella shares one of her favorite passages from a spiritual author for our bulletin reflection.

A MUTUAL ATTRACTION

Excerpt from William A. Barry, SJ
“Praying the Truth” Loyola Press 2012

“I believe that all of us are attracted to God. In any person there is a welling up, every so often, of a sense of great well-being and a desire for “we know not what.”  It can come upon us at the oddest times, but most often it happens when we are momentarily caught off guard and then really pay attention to something that faces us.  I have found instances of such desire in novels and detective stories, in autobiographies – even of agnostics – in poetry, and in conversations with ordinary people.

Once I was staying alone in a house on the seashore.  At dinner time I was stunned to see the full harvest moon rise from the sea.  I went outside after dinner and walked along the beach.  The moon was so bright that I could see my shadow as I walked. Then I noticed how the moon silvered the waves as they quietly broke on the beach.  Lines of silver came and went as I walked along.  I felt a surge of great well-being and desire.  The desire was not only to continue to see the beauty before my eyes, but for something much more.  I felt immensely grateful to God for this moment.  Later the English Benedictine Sebastian Moore gave me the words to describe the desire I felt; it was “the desire for I knew not what,” for the Mystery we call God.  The beauty of that evening had captivated me enough that I forgot my petty concerns for a while and realized how much I was attracted to God who creates this lovely world and gave me a glimpse of his artistry.

I believe that God’s desire creates us and keeps us in existence.  God is always trying to draw us into a deeper friendship.  When we are surprised by something like that moonlit evening, we feel this desire of God and our own deepest desire to respond to God’s desire.  Perhaps you recall such experiences in your own life.

“My Soul Thirsts for You”

A number of psalms express a deep desire for God, for example: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, / so my soul longs for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Psalm 63 is even stronger:
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

The psalmist’s heart is an open book before God; he does not hesitate to express his deep attraction to God.  He knows the thirst of a person caught in the desert and compares his desire for God to that thirst.  Later he describes the satisfaction of his desire for God as a rich feast.  His desire is so great that he never wants to forget God.

So we are encouraged to let God know how attracted we are, and we can do it in whatever way seems most true to our experience.  For the psalmist, desert thirst seemed most like his desire for God.  You can express your desire for God in your own words.

If we realize that our very existence depends on God’s desire for us, it makes it easier to respond in kind.  Our desire for God is only a reflection of God’s desire for us.”

Reflection Questions

1. Remember a time when you were attracted to the beauty of nature.  Thank God for the gift of that attractive manifestation of God’s wonder.

2. Think of the people who have loved you. Remember those you love.  They are God’s way of loving you and God’s way of receiving your love.
3. How will I express my desire for God?
4. What action will I take?

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Stewards of Christ’s Work

Thank you to all parishioners who have completed and submitted your Commitment Card to the church. As a reminder, we ask that commitments be submitted to the church no later than February 26 in order to be accounted for in the final Summary Report. For those parishioners not currently supporting the church on a regular basis, please consider making a commitment through envelopes or Online Giving to support the needs of our parish.

“Souper” Bowl of Giving

On behalf of the 2nd Year Confirmation Students:
Thank you for your amazing goodness last weekend as you supported our Souper Bowl Collection. We were able to donate over 250 sandwiches and $2,250 to Eva’s Village Community Kitchen. You have been an example to us of what it means to be salt of the earth and light of the world.

RCIA

Journey with Us – Discover the Keys to the Kingdom
On Monday, February 13th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room Fr. Miguel will present Church History. All are welcome!
If you would like more information about RCIA, please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.  Make-up sessions will be available.

Bible Study

A seven week Lenten Bible Study series begins on Monday, February 27th at 11:00 AM in the Molloy Center.  We will discuss the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus from St. John’s Gospel.

Prayer Opportunities

Exposition of Blessed Sacrament and Benediction
Will take place in Church on
Saturday, February 25th from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Reconciliation from 11:00 AM – 12:00 N  
Benediction at 12:45 PM
BENEDICTION

7th Annual St. Patrick Dinner Dance
&
St. Joseph Dessert Table

7TH ANNUAL ST. PATRICK DINNER DANCE
Saturday, March 11th at 7 PM
St. Philip Auditorium
(doors open 6:30 PM)

Traditional Irish Dinner
Beer, Wine, Soda, Coffee/Tea, Italian Desserts
Specialty drinks available for purchase
$40.00 per person
Entertainment by The Peter McKiernan Band

To purchase tickets, please send the following
1. Your name
2. Phone number                              
3. Number of tickets requested
4. Payment (check payable to St. Philip the Apostle)
To
St. Philip the Apostle Church
797 Valley Rd., Clifton, NJ 07013   
Attn: St. Patrick Tickets
7TH ANNUAL ST. PATRICK DINNER DANCE
**You will receive a call when your tickets are ready to be picked up at the Parish Office**

Tickets will be sold after all masses on February 18/19 

This event sells out quickly so order your tickets early! For more information call Donna @ 973-779-6200
Tickets will not be available at the door.
You must be 21 years or older to attend this event

St. Philip’s Players

The Players would like to thank the parish family for their support of both NUNSENSE! and Oktoberfest this past fall. Your support helped to put us closer to a financial position that will enable us to fund another great stage show.
SPP is seeking volunteers from the parish who are interested in learning all of the off-stage elements that contribute to and lead up to opening night. We are seeking: stage managers, musical directors, assistants to collect props, help to create sets, costumers, lighting enthusiasts, sound executors, graphic artists for program design, public relations leaders, theatre historian, patron mailing captain, and others. Please contact SPP president Joseph Schreck, Jr. at JSchreck1475@gmail.com to express your interest. No experience needed!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: February 26, March 26
Grade 2: February  12, 26, March 19, 26
Grades 7, 8: February 12, March 19
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: February 12, March 19

To read complete bulletin click here