July 22, 2018

16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

SACRED SAUNTERING AND HOLY LOLLYGAGGING
“Where did you go?”
“Out.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing.”
There you have it: the cloud of suspicion that has hung over sauntering and lollygagging for years, and not just among the parents of teenagers. Little wonder. What use could a culture driven by time management experts have for aimless strolling and fooling around wasting time? Of course, plans, schedules, and deadlines all have their times and places. But it’s time to cry foul when they become the criteria by which we define and judge the human spirit according to the two great commandments: “Be productive! Be useful!” Early Christian monastic desert dwellers tell the tale of a visitor scandalized to discover the great ascetic, St. Anthony of Egypt, at play with his disciples. St. Anthony pointed out that a bow will break if strung taut for too long. And so, he suggested, will we.

Sauntering and lollygagging to the rescue! Jesus, unburdened by weekly organizers with handy to-do-lists, did both. Although totally devoted to the staggering goal of redeeming a bent and broken world, he “wasted” time appreciating the gorgeous field anemones, watching what it took to bake bread or plant a field, hanging out with tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes – and Pharisees. And, because a great storyteller doesn’t start from scratch, he listened to tales (and gossip) about all sorts of ordinary things; a fight over an inheritance, someone’s prodigal child, a local widow pestering a judge into giving her what she wanted. All the while he was discovering, savoring, and cherishing the world as humans experience it.

We’ve all done some of that, haven’t we? Childless myself, I treasure the memory of holding a friend’s fivemonth- old in my lap while his mom cleaned house. He was going nowhere, and neither was I, so we just sat together watching sunbeams, laughing at the family dog, rearranging salt and pepper shakers, and drinking in the goodness of life. Another time, in early morning, I stood dumbstruck by an entire sky on fire as the sun rose through clouds while time went on strike. I have no idea what the second coming of Christ in clouds of glory will really look like, but I’ll never forget the preview. These are only two of many brief, unplanned, mini-vacations that have taught me about discovering, savoring, and cherishing my world in company with a child, or my God. It’s summer. Do yourself a favor. Put away the day planners, schedules and to-do lists. Ignore the disapproving voices in your head. Take a vacation. “Vacation” comes from the Latin vacare, meaning to empty out, to be idle. Old spiritual writers spoke of vacare Deo, making space for God. It suggests just hanging out together rather than following a prepared prayer strategy. Forget the goal of getting through the Bible in a year and just go sauntering with God in the enchanting, instructive, transformative landscapes and stories of Scripture, with the Spirit in the lead. Go anytime. No planning required!

Find a spot you like? Just lollygag around in it for a while. Stay as long as you like-there’s no checkout time.
Sr. Genevieve Glen

✝ Vacation with God

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Our Jubilee Prayer
Rejoicing in you, O Lord, with thankful hearts we pray as . . .
We Remember
gratefully our past companions on the Journey
whose sacrifice inspires us.
We Celebrate
the good news of love in action that empowers spiritual,
service and social ministry.
We Believe
In God’s providence as faithful stewards who continue
Christ’s work using the Keys to the Kingdom.
Amen

JUBILEE YEAR 2018
The Year of our Lord 2018 is our parish Jubilee commemorating 75 years of fulfilling our mission of Opus Christi – which is Latin for Christ’s Work. During the decades our parish has been love in action, bringing good news through spiritual, service and social ministry. Jesus said to our parish patron St. Philip, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do and even great works.” John 14:22

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND CONFIRMATION REGISTRATION
Registration for the 2018-2019 year is now open. New families are welcome!

Consider joining the Religious Education Ministry
Catechesis and religious education require the involvement of our entire faith community. Not only are we called to provide a community that welcomes new members, but also to provide catechetical instruction to them.
This is a wonderful opportunity to share our faith with the youngest members of our community. Let’s work together to help our children grow in Faith.
Our Religious Education needs several volunteer catechists, classroom aides and substitutes for classes beginning in September. Training and curriculum materials will be provided for catechists. Offer your example and your time to learn about Christ with the children. Please pray about it! Come and join us in this beautiful ministry. For more information, please contact Debbie Leach at 973-779-6200 or dleach@stphilip.org.

To read complete bulletin click here