October 11, 2015

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM – WEEK V

Our In-Parish Fall Retreat continues as we learn about and experience the Keys to the Kingdom in homilies, song, bulletins and website reflections. The keys joined to the heart in the illustration above represent the Keys to the Kingdom which are promised to St. Peter and to the community of the church when Jesus says, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom.” Matthew 16:19.

PRAYER IS THE KEY

Prayer is the Key that turns in Faith, with Hope and for Love to set us free.
Prayer in Faith turns us away from anxiety and distress toward the freedom of trust in God’s Providence in all things.
Prayer with Hope turns us away from fear and frees us to experience courage and God’s enduring power at work in our lives.
Prayer for Love turns us toward peaceful relationships with God, self and others by freeing us from the need to judge and control others. Prayer for Love transforms us to live our Mission of Charity, which is Opus Christi, Christ’s Work.

Weekend Scripture Reflection

  • Our first reading extols the spirit of wisdom that comes from prayer. Above all gifts wisdom is prized.
  • The letter to the Hebrews clearly states that God’s Word is like a sword that reveals truth and gifts us with discerning hearts.
  • Jesus announces in the Gospel that what is impossible for humans is possible for God. We are given God’s Word that nothing is impossible for God in Faith, with Hope and for Love.

Reflection: “Fire”

Jo Walker tells the following story,
“I was not thrilled with the idea of letting my clueless 13-year-old son babysit his younger sisters, even though he begged me to. “What about a fire?” I asked, referring to my number one concern. “Mom,” he said, rolling his eyes, “I am a Boy Scout. I know how to start a fire.”

When it comes to our relationships we are all good at starting fires. We easily add “fuel to the fire” when we are annoyed or hurt by others. Turning the Key of Prayer can set us free from resentments and the damaging negative thoughts that can plague us in relationship.

God wishes for Love to be the fire that consumes our hearts but this often seems impossible for us. God promises to do the impossible especially in the areas of our perceptions, judgements and attitudes.

The Word of God teaches us to bless those who curse us and to pray for our enemies. When our relationships are troubled those closest to us can feel like our enemies. Prayer is the Key to heal and set us free for Love. Prayer and Faith gives us Hope and fill us with God’s love when our own love is in short supply.

Pray this simple prayer,

“I pray that you may bless others (name) and
transform me to set me free”

This prayer is liberating when said over time. Even if we have to pray with our teeth clenched. The prayer shifts the focus to God and away from our cycle of worry and fire stoking. God desires to transform us and to shift our attention toward the strength and healing which is at the heart of all prayer. God is able to help us to stop adding fuel to the fire.
We may discover that our tendency to try to control or to judge others is interfering with our being free. God can help us to change our attitudes. God can teach us how to see and feel in new ways.

Remember that the beneficial effects of prayer may not be immediately evident but God is faithful.  At the very least, it is comforting to know that we are doing something about our difficulties by releasing our problems to God while trusting in God’s Providence.

God can re-create our hearts and transform us into people who are free to love in word and in deed.

What to Do

Pray the blessing prayer highlighted above which is also listed below under activity. However impossible it may seem, every time we pray in Faith and with Hope a small spark of divine love grows in our hearts until we are set ablaze with the fire of God’s love.

Prayer Key

If you do not already have a colorful Blessed Prayer Key, you may take one as you leave Church along with a Blue Prayer Booklet.  Attach the key to your own set of keys as a reminder that

“Prayer is the key that sets us free.”

Activity

Pray the Blue Prayer Booklet or read the prayer below while turning your Blessed Prayer Key.

Lord, I turn the key of prayer in Faith.
I am set free to trust in your Providence.
Lord, I turn the key of prayer with Hope.
I am set free from fear;
knowing that you desire to do for me
what I cannot do for myself.
Lord, I turn the key of prayer for Love.
I pray that you may bless others (name) and
transform me to set me free.

RCIA

Journey with Us!

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA will begin Monday, October 19th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. We invite you to be our companion on the journey and discover the keys to the kingdom. All are welcome! If you would like more information about RCIA, please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.

Bible Study

Bible Study Sessions will resume on Monday, October 19th at 11:00 AM in the Molloy Center.  We will study the second half of St. Luke’s Gospel.  All are welcome.

Altar Servers

Interested in becoming an altar server?

All students in grades 4 and up are invited!

Pick up a flyer in the back of the church and join us on
October 14th and 15th for two training sessions.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Classes schedule

Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: November 8, December 13

Grade 2: October 25, November 8, 15, December 6, 13

Grades 7, 8: October 25, November 15, December 6

Confirmation Grade 9, 10: October 25, November 15, Dec. 6

Catechist is still needed for Grade 2, and Catechist substitutes for Grades 1-8.

You can still register in person, by appointment only, by calling 973-779-1439 after 4:30 PM Monday-Thursday and pay in cash or check.

To read complete bulletin click here