February 22, 2015

Companions on the Journey

Introduction To Our Parish Lenten Retreat

Throughout the season of Lent and culminating in our Easter celebration we offer a Parish Retreat titled, Companions on the Journey. You are invited to join us as we experience the Lord and the love of each other more fully. The Retreat will unfold in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin reflections/stphilip.org, and workshop.

Our Lenten church banner pictured above displays symbols of the various themes of our parish Lenten retreat.

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. God holds our hand on the journey and we are invited to hold the hands of 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 pan-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 ourselves come From God as free gifts and grace.

The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to share our gifts For Others.

Our Prayer for Lent – Using Our Hands

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.

During this Lent, you are invited to 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.

Week I

Readings

  • God places the rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant, a loving relationship between God and God’s people.
  • Christ opens the way to our eternal journey, through suffering, death and resurrection. Christ now sits at God’s right hand in glory.
  • Jesus undergoes trials in the desert but emerges eager to share the Good News. God is present “at hand.” All that is needed is for us to turn to God and live the Gospel as loving companions to one another.

Reflection

Seeing a rainbow is a wondrous experience. In the book of Genesis the rainbow is a sign of God’s goodness and a symbol of the truth of God’s everlasting covenant. We, however, only see a portion of a rainbow. When a rainbow is observed from a plane or a high mountain, a rainbow is seen in its completeness, as a circle. On the ground, a rainbow is not seen in its fullness due to our limited perspective. From another vantage the rainbow can be appreciated as whole, a continuous round of color and light.

The journey of our life is like a rainbow, complete and whole, a continuous circle from God’s glory to God’s glory.

In order to experience the fullness of our life journey we need the vantage of spirituality. Spirituality enables us to see from an eternal perspective. We tend to view life as divided into the holy and the profane or the secular versus the sacred. This is a limited horizon.

The wholeness of creation and every person are all graced gifts from God to be shared for others.

This fuller theological perspective enables us to experience the wonder of our God in all things and in all people.

Paths to seeing spiritually:

  • Giving thanks for all things as blessed gifts everyday
  • Seeking the truth, beauty and goodness already placed in our hearts by God in prayer
  • Walking hand-in-hand in service while doing Christ’s work which is our Mission.

We are colorful Companions on the Journey sharing life for we believe in the love of our God.

LENTEN HYMN REFRAIN

We are companions on the journey,
breaking bread and sharing life;
and in the love we bear is the hope we share
for we believe in the love of our God,
we believe in the love of our God.

Season of Lent Opportunities

Renew your faith and your spiritual life for service to one another.

Lenten Practices:

  • Grace before each meals with a sign of the Cross. See Companion Lenten Prayer above.
  • Participating in weekly or even daily celebration of the Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance.
  • Welcome Home to Healing: Sacrament of Reconciliation; Monday 7 to 8:30 PM
    Saturday 11 AM to 12 Noon in church
  • Stations of the Cross Fridays 7:00 PM.
    Feb. 27: Processional
  • Lenten penance includes acts of self-denial as a tool for mindfulness of God’s bountiful gifts and presence and/or an increase in charitable acts and works of kindness.
  • Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence when we refrain from eating meat and have one full meal and two lesser meals. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.

Lenten Bible Study

Bible Study sessions will resume on Monday February 23RD at 11 AM and 7 PM in the Molloy Center.

We will continue studying the Gospel of St. Luke and the human side of Jesus, his teachings, miracles and being a true disciple. Please bring your Bible and all are welcome.

To read complete bulletin click here