October 15, 2017

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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 othersand 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:     In Giving, We Receive
Week V:      Good, Better, Best Choice
Week VI:     New News is Good News
Week VII:    Blessing and Healing
Week VIII:   Sacrament of Healing

Week V Good, Better, Best Choice
 Debbie Fields of Mrs. Fields’ cookies is expanding her business and needs to entrust management to others.  Her interview with prospects involves the display of cookies of varying quality in uniformity of shape and size. Asking her potential employees to choose which cookies they would sell and which not, she listens for two words. If the prospect ever uses the words, “good enough”, they are disqualified. The philosophy of Debbie Fields states “good enough never is”. The very successful company is founded on each person on the team choosing not what is good or ever better, but best.

All through our day, we make choices in what we will say and what we will do. In the same manner, we want the work of our hands to be used for the best choice. Many times we fall back on routines and the ruts we are accustomed to choosing. God gives us the freedom to choose- we always have a choice. To be the good news of Christ’s love and service we are invited to choose not only what is good, or better, but the best decision in every situation.

Prayer is the key to making the best choice with God’s help of wisdom.  The process of choosing with God involved is called discernment. Prayer is the place to weigh options, consider outcomes and to decide to be love in action.  We bring our daily life to God in prayer asking – “Lord, how can I be good news in this situation?”

Scripture Reflection
Isaiah, in our first reading, promises that God provides abundantly when we look to God for help, direction, wisdom and healing. God desires to restore us and save us as we individually and collectively choose the best for ourselves and for others in prayer.

When the “best” seems like a tall order, we remember St. Paul’s great affirmation and a scripture quote worth remembering, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4

In today’s Gospel we hear an invitation to a great feast, celebration and to abundance. Many in the story choose other good things to do instead of attending the wedding as the best choice.

Often a good choice is the enemy of the better choice and the better drains our strength from the best. As Sean McComb has written about choosing too many goods, “You can always do more. But if you do too much they won’t get your best.” Saying “No” is an option when it allows us to say “Yes” to something better. God desires to help us not only in action but in choosing.

God guides us to check if our motive is to be the good news of love in action. Prayer is the key to discerning the good, better and best loving choice for service with the work of our hands.

Activity – A Process of Discernment
1. Choice: What choices and decisions are mine to make this day?
2. Disposition: Ask God for an open mind and heart, a good attitude for discerning. Check your motives.
3. Gather Information: What are the factors and possible outcomes of your choice. Make a list of pros and cons if necessary.
4. Discern: Pray for the wisdom in your choice. Listen to God’s inner voice in thought or intuition and in feeling. What is good, better or best? This need not be about what is fair but about how you can be love in action.
5. Decide: How you will do Christ’s Work through your heart and hands.
6. Seek Confirmation: Discuss your choices with someone who is wise to review your process.
7. Thank God for the freedom to choose and the privilege of being a faithful steward of the best good news every time.
“I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.” Phil.4

RCIA
•  Are you interested in exploring your spiritual life?
•  Do you want to discover the abundance of God’s love & peace?
•  Would you like to have greater motivation for service?
•  Do you want to know more about the Catholic Faith?
•  Did you ever think about becoming a Catholic?
•  Are you a baptized Catholic and have never made your First Communion and/or Confirmation?
•  Are you baptized in another faith and have a desire to become Catholic?
•  Have you never been baptized in any faith but wonder?

JOURNEY WITH US!
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

Interested in becoming an Altar Server?
New and returning servers are invited to attend two training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17th and 18th at 3:15 PM or 4:15 PM in church.

To sign up, download an application from our website StPhilip.org or see Father Matt for more information. Open to students in the 4th grade and higher.

Bible Study

An eight week Bible Study group will meet beginning on Monday, October 16th in the Molloy Center at 11 AM.

St Paul’s letter to the Romans will be discussed. All are welcome!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The next class  for grades 1 and 3 – 6 is October 22nd .
The next class for grades 2 and 7 – 10 is October 15th.
Denise Pannullo  for Grades 1 – 8 at 973-779-1439
Victoria Velasco for Confirmation at 973-798-8772

To read complete bulletin click here