March 22, 2015

Companions on the Journey

Our Parish Lenten Retreat- week V

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 V

  • The prophet Jeremiah promises that God will take all people by the hand and lead them forth with a new covenant written upon each heart.
  • The letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus prayed throughout his life. The prayer of Jesus enabled him to remain open and obedient to all that his Father asked of him.
  • As Jesus approaches Jerusalem and death he is honest in prayer about being deeply disturbed about the suffering to come. In prayer Jesus receives the Father’s reassurance that he will be glorified through giving freely of himself even to the giving up of his life.

Reflection

One day, a little girl and her father were in the grocery store. The proprietor smiled at the little girl and said, “Since you have been so patient, please help yourself to a handful of candy. The girl looked up, smiled sweetly and said, “Thank you, but I am too shy to take some candy for myself. If you wish, I will open my hands and you can give me what you will.”

The store owner said to her father, “What a sweet and shy girl you have.” As her hands were filled with candy, the girl’s father remarked, “She may be sweet and shy but she is also very clever. An open hand holds more candy!”

A hand, open to receive, holds more. A hand, willing to give, gives more. Jesus lived his life with an open hand of service, freely giving of his time, wisdom and healing presence to all.
We are invited to open one hand to God in prayer. God’s indwelling presence gifts us with the fruit of the Holy Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) In gratitude we open our other hand, as Companions on the Journey sharing all we receive From God – For others.

We give God glory when we offer our lives in service for others. We are glorified by God when we share our love and good works for others. In today’s gospel a voice proclaims that Jesus will be glorified through his offering of himself on the cross.

The word “glorify” has many meanings, praise, honor, to cause, to appear, to know fully, to manifest. When we reach out in service for others we make God’s presence more fully known and more manifest. Loving service glorifies us as we give honor, praise and continue our mission to do Christ’s work in imitation of the self- giving of Jesus For Others.

THE EUCHARIST AS SENDING FORTH IN SERVICE

We are encouraged, empowered and nourished with God’s presence in the Eucharist to give God glory through our words and deeds. As we are blessed at the dismissal rite we are commissioned to, “Go forth to love and serve the Lord.” God glorifies us through God’s trust in us to love and serve. We give God glory as we share all that we have received From God – For Others.

We are Companions on the Journey who are made for the glory of God and for service in the name of Jesus.

Reflection Questions

  1. In what ways has God lead you by the hand?
  2. How does God write upon your heart?
  3. What does knowing that Jesus prayed when he was disturbed tell you about Jesus and about yourself in relationship with God?
  4. What fruit of the Holy Spirit needs to be more active in your life love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
  5. How are you being invited to walk side by side with God and in service for others?
  6. What one action can you take this week to do Christ’s work on Earth?

LENTEN HYMN VERSE 4

We are made for the glory of God,
for service in the name of Jesus;
to walk side by side with hope in our hearts,
to do Christ’s work on earth,
to do Christ’s work on earth.

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 27: Religious Education

LENTEN BIBLE STUDY

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

SAVE THE DATE! ST. PHILIP ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY BLOOD DRIVE

When: Good Friday, April 3, 2015
Where: School Auditorium
Time: 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM
If you have any questions, please call Doreen Germain at 973-819-4610.

HOLY WEEK EASTER SCHEDULE

PALM SUNDAY MARCH 29:  Passion of the Lord
Saturday 5:30 PM;   Sunday 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12 NOON

HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 2
Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:30 PM
Eucharistic Adoration (Marian Hall) 9:00 PM – Midnight

GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Blood Drive (Auditorium) 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
(Holy Communion/Veneration of the Cross) 3:00 PM

HOLY SATURDAY, April 4
Blessing of the Easter Food:  1:00 PM
Easter Vigil 8:00 PM

EASTER SUNDAY, April 5
Celebration of Eucharist 8:00 AM 10:00 AM 12:00 PM

To read complete bulletin click here