July 03, 2016

THE REIGN OF GOD IS AT HAND AND IN OUR HEARTS

GOSPEL: Luke 10:1-9

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way …”

A REFLECTION

by John McGinnis, Prayer Time (2009)
When we go into situations of ministry as careful listeners, we discover that the first and perhaps the best thing we can give people is our loving attentiveness. Inviting nursing home residents, as well as older people in other living situations, to share some of their life story is tremendously affirming. Ministry becomes mutual service when we engage people with loving attentiveness.

Our hands can be instruments of loving service every bit as much as our ears. We do not have to become masseurs or masseuses to learn how to love others with our hands, although massage can be a very tangible and immediate way of communicating God’s love. Loving touch is a powerful purveyor of God’s love. I will never forget the lesson I learned years ago from a bunch of children living at a shelter in downtown St. Louis. I would show up monthly as a clown with a bag of Hershey Kisses. But instead of grabbing at the Kisses when they raced up to me, they went straight for the large red heart on my costume. They knew that whenever they pressed my heart, I would give them a big hug. They would rather have human hugs than chocolate Kisses. The reign of God is at hand. It is as close as our own loving hands.

But bringing loving eyes and open hearts into our many daily encounters can also make us vulnerable. We may be misunderstood, ignored, or sometimes put down. But Jesus asks us to be willing to be a “lamb” as he was – a sacrificial lover in the midst of a “wolfish” society. If we imitate the vulnerable love of Jesus, we become instruments of his transformation of the world. Through us as through Jesus, the reign of God is at hand. I remember so clearly the story about a soldier in Italy in World War II who found a statue of Jesus that was missing its hands. At the base of the statue were written the words, “I have no hands but yours.” The reign of God is truly in our hands.

ACTIVITY
  1. What can I do to become more present, attentive, and affirming to those around me? Be specific.
  2. What aspects or situations of my life could be seen as areas of ministry where Jesus wants me to go as the emissary of his love and peace?
  3. What keeps me from being more explicit and bold about proclaiming in word and deed God’s love and peace in these situations of ministry?
CLOSING PRAYER

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed by your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven. Matthew 6:9 10

Yes, may your kingdom come more fully on earth through Jesus, your chosen one, and those others that Jesus chooses in every generation.

Jesus, we did not choose you; rather, you chose us
— to go forth as emissaries of God’s love and peace into every part and place of our lives.

What an awesome calling
— to be your eyes, your ears, your hands for others.

Free us from the selfishness and fears that hold us back.

Still us at the beginning of each day, so that we may hear your voice and feel your love blessing us and sending us forth.

Open us to the giftedness of those with whom we minister, and help us become more attentive and supportive allies.

All of these blessings we ask in your name, as you told us to, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

CARNIVAL NEWS

St. Philip Carnival

The Carnival Committee wishes to thank all workers and parishioners who helped at the 37th Annual Carnival.
There will be a Carnival Appreciation Night on Monday, July 11th at 7:30 PM in the Marian Hall. Carnival results will be reviewed followed by refreshments.

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Widow/Widowers

  • The Monday Night Group: July 11th & 25th at 6:30
  • The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, July 13th and 27th at 7:00 PM.

Prime Timers
Atlantic City Casino Bus Ride

  • Trip to Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Thursday, July 14th
  • Must be 21 years old and over
  • Price is $25.00 with a casino bonus of $25.00.
  • Photo ID needed to get Casino bonus from Resorts or get one there, free of charge.
  • Call Barbara Rzepecki early to reserve your bus seating at 973-278-1566.

St. Philip’s Players
Come join us offstage. We welcome and will train parishioners for ALL technical positions, stage managers, and scenic designers. Call us at 973-607-1924 or stphilipsplayers@aol.com.

Nunsense! Coming in September

To read complete bulletin click here