May 01, 2016

COMPASSION ON THE JOURNEY

Compassion on the Journey is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.
You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The church banner pictured above displays our Easter Theme symbols. 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 the Risen Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The image above is of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem.

Our focus is on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. Appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion.

St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”
Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Easter Prayer :

Resurrected Glory – guide our hearts to serve
Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace.

EASTER SEASON

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work animates us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”
  • Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.
  • Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.
  • Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.
  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.
Scripture WEEK V
  • The Apostles deal with the difficulty in the early church community by sending representatives to convey knowledge and true teachings.
  • St. John is gifted with a vision that helps us to understand that Christ is the glory of God, a brilliant light in every situation.
  • The Gospel promises that the Holy Spirit is given to ease our troubles by bringing joy and peace.
REFLECTION:

Lane Becker enjoys telling the following story,
“My father was a guard at San Quentin, and we lived on the prison grounds. Occasionally, inmates came by and helped with yard work. One day, mom lost the keys to the shed. A man who was mowing the lawn offered to help. Picking up a hammer, he gave the lock two sharp taps, and it magically opened. ‘Wow,’ said mom. ‘How did you do that so quickly?’
Handing back the hammer, the prisoner said, ‘Lady, I’m not in this place for nothing!’”
The prisoner had knowledge and understanding about locks. Knowledge and understanding are gifts of the Holy Spirit given to help us solve problems. Sometimes we feel locked up by life. When we have difficulty thinking clearly, God desires for us to pray for a change of perception. In prayer, we can learn to see with God’s eyes. In prayer, God gently teaches us how to think, feel and act with compassion.
Often, we are locked out of understanding other people. In prayer, God gives us the gift of understanding so that we can experience God’s compassion for them.

ACTIVITY
  1. What situations have me feeling, “locked up”?
  2. How is God gently tapping me to see, think and act in new ways?
  3. Who is difficult for me to understand? Who challenges my compassion?
  4. Action: God invites us to “BLESS” those who disturb us. Over time a simple blessing prayer can help us to see, think and feel God’s compassion. Blessing someone else – even through gritted teeth – opens us to God’s grace and enables us to listen with the ear of our hearts for God’s compassion.
UPCOMING PARISH EVENTS
CONFIRMATION Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 PM
VIVERE CHRISTUS Awards Sunday, May 15 at 3:30 PM
K OF C Awards Night Wednesday, May 18 at 8 PM
CHOIR Concert Sunday, May 22 at 4 PM
ST PHILIP PLAYERS Cabaret Thursday, June 2 at 7 PM
Fri. & Sat., June 3 & 4 at 8 PM
ROSARY Tea Sunday, June 5 at 2 PM
SR. CHRISTINE’S Farewell Saturday, June 11 6:30 PM
CARNIVAL Thursday – Friday – Saturday
June 16 – 17 – 18
CELEBRATING PENTECOST 2016: MAY 15th

Multi-language Liturgy

Acts of the Apostles (2:4) reports that on the feast of Pentecost all were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” The multiple languages at Pentecost demonstrate God’s desire to be in relation with all people. God speaks to each heart in a unique way. Our celebration of Pentecost will be a multi-language liturgy serving as a symbol of God’s ongoing action to renew the face of the earth.

Volunteers are being sought to proclaim the Scripture readings and general intercessions in their native language. Please contact Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200 or dscancarella@stphilip.org for more information and to volunteer.

Festive Clothing
On the first Pentecost the Spirit hovered over the disciples like tongues of fire. The manifestation of God’s power symbolizes the fire of love that compels the followers of Jesus through spirituality, service and social ministry. Therefore, parishioners are invited to wear flame colors of red, yellow or orange. Our multi-colored glow will be a communal affirmation of our commitment to rekindle the fire of God’s love and to live our mission working for peace and justice with zeal.

Flag Bearers Needed
Our Pentecost Eucharist procession is led by our flag bearers. We are in need of six volunteers for each Mass on Pentecost weekend as carriers. The flags are more cumbersome than heavy; however moderate upper body strength is a requirement. A sign-up sheet for each Mass time can be found in the Sacristy.

Diocesan Award Bestowed Upon Ray Lill
The Diocese of Paterson recognizes the service of the laity and religious as it awards the Annual VIVERE CHRISTUS AWARD. The title of the award is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:21, “for me to live is Christ.” The Bishop bestows this honor on behalf of the community of faith in gratitude for faithful stewardship given in the name of our Lord Jesus. Our parish recipient this year is Ray Lill. Congratulations!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: May 15
Grades 7, 8, Confirmation Grade 9, 10: May 1

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