October 1, 2017

TIME TO BE GOOD NEWS
Our spiritual practice of asking, “OK God, what’s the good news?” in prayer opens us to the wonder of God’s presence and gifts.
Our Theme, Time To Be Good News, is developed in bulletin articles, through song, and on our website www.stphilip.org  each week.

KEY CONCEPT:  Salvation Is Healing
Our mission, Opus Christi, is to do Christ’s Work in our lives each day.  We are invited to be good news for each other. Prayer is the key that helps us to discover good news within us and in God’s gifts around us.  Prayer enables us to become good news for others through our words and in our deeds.  The Good News of Jesus Christ we call Salvation, comes from the Latin word Salvus, which means to heal.  God saves us in this life by healing our minds, hearts and wills through prayer, Scripture and the Sacraments.  God saves us in every moment of life.  Even through death we are healed into a new life in Christ.

Our Banner in Words and In Symbol
The time is now to pay attention to God’s saving hands that heal our hearts to be free to love with the good news in word and in deed.  All grace is given from God, for others    and let it begin with me.

Good News In Progress
Week I:       Salvation Is Healing
Week II:      The Time Is Now
Week III:     Free to be Me
Week IV:     Good, Better, Best Choice
Week V:      New News is Good News
Week VI:     In Giving, We Receive
Week VII:    Blessing and Healing
Week VIII:   Sacrament of Healing

Week III Free To Be Me
[Disclaimer: Any similarity to characters living or dead is purely coincidental]:
Every afternoon the two little brothers, Julio and Matt approach the monkey bars.  Once again, the older one, Julio, taunts Matt to climb and gets a definite “no”.
One day, Julio notices that Matt tries to climb when his brother isn’t watching. Julio’s heart goes out to Matt and he thinks hard to find a better way to encourage him. “If you climb, I’ll be right beneath you and catch you”, he says. Matt  changes his mind and therefore his heart. He is filled with courage knowing that his brother will be there for him. Matt climbs. Julio now has another “monkey” to play with on the bars.
Both Julio and Matt have a change of mind and of heart. They discover a new freedom to take the positive action through a change in thinking and through a change of feeling. Julio recognizes his brother’s fear and his heart is moved with compassion. Compassion changes his thinking and behavior to encouragement.  Matt is transformed by the good news of Julio’s support and is empowered to take new action.
God calls us to change our thinking and to have a change of heart through prayer. God invites and empowers us to love, take actions for service and thus be good news in our every choice. Prayer is the key to new freedom in every choice.  Prayer enables us to think “I can change” and empowers our hearts to do so. God assures us that we will be caught in God’s arms of unconditional acceptance no matter the outcome of our choices.
We are created to be in a process of continual growth in holiness, sanctification and as in the Orthodox Greek word for being transformed into God’s image and likeness, “theosis”. We are empowered through Scripture, sacraments, prayer and good choices to respond to God’s grace which is always at work in us. God desires for us to become freely who we are designed to be – loving people who have God’s transforming Spirit dwelling deep within us.
The image of a heart has two halves. A change of thinking is a change of heart. A change of heart is a change of thinking.
Prayer frees God’s healing power which saves us into new ways of thinking and opens our heart for change.

Scripture Reflection
Today’s Gospel tells a story about how a change of mind and a change of heart are essential components to the work that can be accomplished. One brother thinks that he will do his father’s work but has a change of heart and declines. The other brother’s heart is not willing, at first, but he later changes his mind and puts his heart into the work.
Only when the heart and mind are unified is it possible to do and to be good news. St. Paul writes in Philippians2, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, with love, united in heart, thinking one thing … finding solace and encouragement in Christ.”

Activity – Thinking
Be honest with God in prayer. What thoughts limit me from acting with compassion? What concerns about fairness or about who is right keep me from loving? What is God saying to me about my potential for change with grace at work in my life? How do I feel my heart change in this prayer? What good news thoughts will I share today? What words or work of encouragement will I accomplish?

Feeling
When does my heart feel small, tight and closed? How is God inviting me to be saved/healed? What good news of unconditional acceptance is God offering me – as I am right now? What one action of compassionate love will I perform today to be good news?

2017 Bishop’s Annual Appeal:  In Giving, We Receive
The services provided by our Catholic Charities agencies are too long to list in our bulletin – but here are just a few:  emergency housing for people in extreme poverty, out-patient and residential substance abuse treatment, group homes for disabled adults, outreach to veterans who are homeless, family counseling, etc. For your convenience, you can make an online gift or pledge at www.2017appeal.org. Thank you!     

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION
On Saturday, October 7th we would like to invite you for Eucharistic Adoration from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Join us for this spiritual time before the Blessed Sacrament in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima.

  • 11:00   Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
  • 11:00-12N     Reconciliation
  • 12:30  Spiritual Talk – “To Jesus through Mary
  • 12:40  Benediction
  • 1:00   Dismissal 

Why not stop by for a few minutes and say “thank you” for the Good News in our life.

RCIA
Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA we explore and discover the keys to the kingdom. These Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil open your hearts and empower you to lives of services, charity and justice as witnesses to our mission of OPUS CHRISTI, Christ’s work. RCIA is not a program but a sacramental process. 
For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200

Saint Philip Women’s Cornerstone Retreat
November 17 & 18, 2017
I Love You † You Are Mine
Cornerstone is a beautiful retreat experience, a time to revitalize your relationship with God, renew your own spirit and bond with other women of our parish through a combination of quiet reflection and prayer, and the sharing of one’s faith journey with others. Please consider joining us for this two-day retreat.

Retreat Times:
Friday, 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM
Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Registration Donation: $50
Registration online at stphilip.org 
Please email any questions
to Cornerstone@StPhilip.org or call The Molloy Center (973)779-6200

Bible Study

Bible Study with Fr. Kevin will resume on Monday, October 9th at 11:00 AM in the Molloy Center.  The group will be discussing St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.  The theme is the relationship between Judaism and Christianity as well as a plea to the new Christians to hold fast to their faith.

To read complete bulletin click here