May 3, 2015

Companions on the Journey
With the Holy Spirit

EASTER SEASON: WEEK IV

The Holy Spirit Our Companion on the Journey

Our Journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. The Holy Spirit gifts, guides and invites us to live our mission to do Christ’s work our Opus Christiservice to our brothers and sisters on every step. We are Companions on the Journey with God and with each other.

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 and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love, 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 as Superheroes for Christ animates us through Baptism, Confirmation and with spiritual gifts.  The power of the Holy Spirit that thrives in us is from God and for others.

Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

LifeTeen.com (freely adapted)

  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things and to trust in Providence.
  • Understanding is seeing and feeling with the heart, God’s truth, beauty and goodness in ourselves, others and in our world.
  • 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.
  • Fortitude emboldens us to dream of what is possible and to freely take risks to make that vision a reality.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Piety (Reverence) is gratefully experiencing God in mind, heart and will in creation, ourselves and others and living ‘as Christ’ for others.
  • ‘Fear of the Lord’ meaning “WOW!”  Awe, Wonder, Amazement Our sin, weakness and every difficulty is God’s opportunity to manifest the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives –WOW!

WEEK IV Reflection – ‘Fear of the Lord’ meaning:

“WOW!” — Awe — Wonder — Amazement

Long, long ago a missionary who worked in a rural part of Brazil returned to Europe for a visit. His religious community gifted him with a beautiful sundial to place in the middle of the village. The people were amazed by its colors and design. Each onlooker gave it a “WOW!”  Villagers built a beautiful plaza around the sundial and the missionary instructed them how to mark the hours with inlaid stone patterns. However, before the missionary could explain how to use the sundial he was called to another village for a few days. Upon his return he was surprised to see that the people got together and built a roof over the sundial to protect it from the rain and the sun. The missionary had a bit of teaching to do. The real “WOW” was yet to come.

We can wonder with great satisfaction at the awe that the sundial evoked once the villagers learned how to use the sundial to tell time. When beauty is combined with usefulness there’s always a “WOW” experience.

Our story of faith in Jesus Christ, the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and the indwelling presence of God as our companion are beautiful ideas and a lovely theology. Sometimes we believe that it is enough to know about our faith, appreciate its beauty and protect it from harm. However, learning how to use our faith more effectively in our everyday lives is the “WOW” experience. We are gifted with all that we need through the Holy Spirit so that God can do for us what we are unable to do for ourselves-when we use what we are given.

Scripture Reflection

  • The Acts of the Apostles recounts that the early church “walked in the fear of the Lord” and experienced “the consolation of the Holy Spirit.”
    They were amazed and thunderstruck by the dynamic power of God at work in their lives and experienced God as both encouraging and consoling through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the First letter of John we are exhorted to “love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” Our love of God is something that we live and practice, much more than merely an agreement with a set of creeds and dogmas.
  • Jesus is clear in the Gospel when he emphasizes that we have been gifted to bear much fruit as disciples because we are connected to Christ the Vine that supplies all that we need to live lives that give God glory through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection Questions and Activity

  1. What are the experiences in my life that evoke amazement, awe or wonder? How do I praise God and give thanks for these gifts not only in word but in deed?
  2. Compose a list of your gifts and talents. Which gifts and talents do you use to produce spiritual fruit? Which gifts have you built a roof over from disuse? How is the Lord inviting you to change?
  3. What one action can I take to use my gifts and talents in order to experience the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my daily life?
  4. What was a “WOW” experience for me with GOD, with another? How can I be an instrument of the Holy Spirit—a WOW for others?

CELEBRATING PENTECOST 2015: MAY 24TH

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 Fr. Jared 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.

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Spring Choir Concert

The Choir of Saint Philip the Apostle Church, the Saint Philip Youth Choir, the Saint Philip Hand Bell Choir and instrumentalists will present the Annual Spring Concert on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM. in church. Admission is free; however, a free-will offering is appreciated to help support the efforts of the Music Ministry program. Please join us for an afternoon of beautiful sacred music.

Knights of Columbus

For many years, you, the parishioners of St. Philip have contributed generously to the Several Sources Shelter Program for women and their unborn children through the “Baby Bottle Program”. This year to increase our commitment as a parish community we will replace the “Baby Bottle Program” with the Second Collection this weekend, May 2nd and 3rd.   Please be as generous as you have been in the past in supporting the women and the unborn. Thank you and God bless you!

Comedy Night

K of C 2nd Annual Comedy Night is May 16th in the auditorium. Dinner buffet and show $35! For tickets call Jack Jaeger: 973. 985.0761 or Mike Andolino:  201.953.4724. Tickets will be on sale after masses this weekend.

Prime Timers

Atlantic City Bus Trip
Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.  The cost is still $25.00 with a casino bonus of $25.00.  Bring a photo I.D. Departure time is 10:00 AM sharp.  Please call Barbara Rzepecki at 973-278-1566.

WIDOW AND WIDOWERS

THE MONDAY NIGHT GROUP: May 11th at 6:30 PM.
THE NEW & RECENTLY BEREAVED GROUP: Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 PM.

SEPARATED & DIVORCED SUPPORT GROUP

DIVORCE HEALING GROUP: 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, 7:00 PM in the Molloy Center on May 11th.

COLUMBIETTES

All are welcome to join the Columbiettes in praying the Rosary after the 9:00 AM Mass on, Saturday, May 9, 2015 outside by the Blessed Mother’s Statue for the protection of all life.  For more information call Sharon at 973 742-0926.

Blanket Ministry
The next meeting of the blanket ministry will be on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM in the Molloy Center.  For questions or yarn donations, contact Cathie Murtha at 973-471-1265.

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