March 15, 2015

Companions on the Journey

Our Parish Lenten Retreat- week IV

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 panis-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 of Grace 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 IV

  • Motivated by compassion God continued to send messengers to the people in hope that they would respond and follow in God’s ways.
  • The letter to the Ephesians emphasizes that all is a gift of loving kindness from God for our salvation. God gifts not because of our efforts but because we are God’s children and God’s handiwork.
  • God gave his Son Jesus as a light so that the world might be saved through Him.

Reflection

Take a moment to look at your hand. Just think about all of the tasks that our hands can do and the many ways that we communicate with them. God’s creation of our human hand is unique in nature. The many intricate ways that our hands work are possible because of the shape and size of our thumbs. Human thumbs are called opposable thumbs. They are called opposable because the thumb can be moved around to touch the other fingers, which gives people the ability to grasp things, use tools etc. We who are made in the image and likeness of God are able to complete a circle with each digit on our hands. Think of the OK sign.

Our hands have been given to us to give God glory by acknowledging God’s gifts to us and in order to continue Christ’s Mission which is our work. We are empowered by God to give service to one another with our hands: From God/For Others. This is the meaning of being Companions with God and with one another. Receiving from God and giving to others completes the circle of giving and receiving. The circle of reciprocity mirrors our ultimate story that we come from God and return to God in glory.

Our Scripture this weekend shares the stories of God’s self- giving, culminating in the free gift of Christ’s life for us. God shows us the way to live which is a process of receiving from God and a free giving of ourselves to one another.

Many times when we are distressed, anxious, frustrated or distraught in some way we can trace our disturbance to a broken circle of giving and receiving. We are invited at these times to trust more deeply in God’s providence to give us what we need. Often God calls us to examine our relationships that may require God’s healing touch. Like our hands, God gives us the tools we need to do our work for God with others. We complete the cycle and renew our strength through prayer. God desires with compassion and kindness to complete the circles in our lives with God’s strength. We believe that God truly cares.

THE EUCHARIST AS OFFERTORY GIFT

Bringing our gifts forth in the offertory procession reflects our self -giving through the liturgical form. The Eucharist is a gift from God, a sacrifice, a self- giving, an offering of God sacramentally broken and shared for us. Completing the circle we are nourished through the Eucharist in order to give service for others.

We are Companions on the Journey who offer all we have and who we are by the strength of God cares.

Reflection Questions

  1. Who has been a messenger of God’s compassion for you? Thank that person or pray for them.
  2. In what ways are your hands used for service?
  3. How are you being called to more deeply trust in God’s providence?
  4. Who needs your thoughtfulness, a word of encouragement or a good deed done by you for others?
  5. Does your contribution in the collection and offertory mirror your gratitude to God?

LENTEN HYMN VERSE 3
We offer to our Father,
all we have and who we are;
we feed as we are nourished
by the strength of God who cares,
by the strength of God who cares.

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

  • 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 7:00 to 8:30 PM
    Saturday 11:00 AM to 12 Noon in church
  • Stations of the Cross Fridays 7:00 PM;
    March 20: Living Stations – Youth Group

LENTEN BIBLE STUDY

Bible Study sessions on the Gospel of Luke.
Mondays: 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM in the Molloy Center.

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE SLIDE PRESENTATION II

A slide presentation ”The Life of Jesus from the Immaculate Conception to the Crucifixion from the Eyes of a Scientist” will be presented by Albert Lossinsky, Ph.D. on Sunday, March 15th in the Molloy Center at 2:00 PM.  Sights & experiences from Bishop Serratelli’s April 2013 pilgrimage to Israel will be included.

SPRING ROYALE

The Spring RoyaleSaint Philip the Apostle Parish and Preparatory School Presents

Sunday, March 22nd 2015
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Valley Regency

SOLD OUT

AD JOURNAL

HONORING

Monsignor Kevin Flanagan, our distinguished honoree, generously shares God’s gifts through faithful ministry. You are invited to express your gratitude and thankfulness for all that Father Kevin has done and continues to do for our Church and School community. Share a special message, prayer or goodhearted wish for Fr. Kevin in our Spring Royale Ad Journal.

REMEMBERING

Sister Rene Donohue, FSP served as our dynamic School principal from 1979 to 2001. Sister’s commitment to social gatherings, music, theater and the arts is a rich part of our heritage. We honor her memory with the creation of The Sister Rene Donohue Cultural Arts Legacy which will be funded by the proceeds of our Spring Royale. This year her legacy is continued by providing new lighting and a refurbished sound system for our auditorium. Remember Sister Rene, and contribute to her legacy, by taking an Ad in our Journal in loving memory of Sister or in support of God’s gifts of fellowship and the Arts.

SPONSORSHIP SUPPORTER

Recognition of Your Gift 3-for-1

  • Glossy ad in the printed journal
  • Display on the “Big Screen” at the event
  • 31 day website PDF

Full-Color Ad Journal
$100 – Benefactor (Full Page)
$65 – Patron (Half Page)
$35 – Sponsor (Qtr. Page/Business Card)
$25 – Contributor (Name only)

Table Sponsor
$500 – Leadership Sponsor (Table Sponsorship)
Directions: At stphilip.org, click on the Spring Royale Event, or telephone the Molloy Center (973-779-6200), with your order request.

To read complete bulletin click here