October 29, 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 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:     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 VII  Blessing and Healing
“The best come back I’ve ever heard occurred at our store. A customer was complaining to my supervisor about the employees. He was spouting off about how terrible we all were and insisting our company hired only idiots. That was when my boss looked him in the eye and asked, “Would you like an application?” Source: reddit.com

We spend a lot of time in our minds complaining about other people, about what they have said or have not said, done or have not done. Sometimes we spout off verbally to others with our range of emotions running the gamut from hurt to anger. We would love to have the best come back ever heard. Knowing that we are called to be good news we grow uncomfortable with our resentments, rants and even the urge to begin closing our hearts and minds to another. What to do? Prayer is the key that sets us free from our negative thoughts. Prayer helps us to change our perspective and ask, “OK, God what’s the good news?”

The good news is that although we are powerless to change others, God has the power to change us. Jesus teaches us to pray for others which leads to our own transformation. Jesus is clear in Matthew’s Gospel, “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you and pray for those who seem to undo the good in your life.”
This Gospel passage does not seem like good news! However, Jesus is very direct in the Scripture and tells us what to do. Knowing what to do is good news. We surely do not feel like praying for others especially when they are wrong and we are right. Jesus is not asking us to solve the problem only to pray and to leave outcomes to God.

The simple Blessing Prayer that we can say is:
“Bless (name), and transform me to set me free.”
The good news is that all we are being asked to do is to say the Blessing Prayer. We need not feel like praying or even to feel good while praying. We can pray this prayer through clenched teeth and with any emotion. God knows us better than we know ourselves so we can pray honestly feeling as we feel. Jesus understands our negative experiences; he himself was ultimately killed by his enemies.
The Blessing Prayer is a gift, a life-changing tool in our good news survival kit. Pack it and use it when it is time to be good news.
The Blessing Prayer is the saving and healing act of love which trusts God and frees us to choose the next right action. Prayer enables us to see God at work in our daily lives. Over time, as we pray the Blessing Prayer faithfully, we soon discover that God is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves – gifting us with a deep sense of inner peace. Healing and salvation are ours to choose. It is time to be good news through prayer.

Scripture Reflection
Our reading from the book of Exodus challenges us to act with compassion and love in justice. The psalm reminds us that God is our rock of strength when we are beset by difficulties. Paul praises the Thessalonians for imitating Christ by receiving God’s word and living it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our Gospel sums up the very heart of our faith in saying that loving God means loving our neighbor. Compassion and love for those near to us are only possible with God’s strength and healing. The good news is that God is faithful and God’s promises for our transformation are fulfilled beyond all that we could ever hope for or imagine.
Activity Key Prayer

Bless (name) and transform me to set me free.

A Sacrament Of Healing
The Anointing Of The Sick
November 4 & 5, 2017

Is anyone sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.”
James 5:14-15

On the weekend of November 4 & 5 we will celebrate the Sacrament of The Anointing of the Sick at all Masses.The Sacrament of the Sick is one of the healing sacraments. It is a balm for physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual ills.

The Ritual
• The Sacrament may be administered individually or in a communal setting.
• After an appropriate Scripture reading, the priest prays over the sick person by the laying on of hands on the head of the sick person.
• The forehead is anointed with the Oil of the Sick. The prayer:
“Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” R. Amen.
• The palms of the hands are anointed:
“May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” R. Amen.
• The following prayer is said after the anointing:
Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant your people comfort in suffering. When they are afraid give them courage, when afflicted give them patience, when dejected, afford them hope, and when alone, assure them of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”  R. Amen.

Our Parish Plan for Prayer and Healing
• Prayer for the healing power of God to be manifest in each one of our lives accompanied by appropriate music for healing will shape our worship theme.
• Those who choose to receive the Sacrament of the Sick are asked to sit in the first or last row of any section of pews. Wheelchairs can be accommodated in the open space in front of the Ambo. This seating arrangement will allow us to have access to your head and hands for the anointing.
• The Sacrament will be administered directly following a brief homily at all of the Masses.

RCIA
Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA we explore and discover the keys to the kingdom. 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

N ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

The students at Saint Philip Prep have been busy gearing up for the holidays. Each grade has many fun and exciting activities planned. As a part of our Religion curriculum, the 3rd grade class is learning about ways to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The third graders took a class vote and decided they wanted to help another third grade in Texas affected by the recent hurricane. The students decided to donate Scholastic Book Points to help build another class library. This class lost their library of books due to the flooding. In Science, the third graders took a virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo website features video lessons hosted by zookeepers packed with information. The students at St. Philip Prep are very excited and are looking forward to all of the Halloween events scheduled next week.

Congratulations to one of our alumni, Rachel Zegler, who will be starring in Thoroughly Modern Mille. The show will be at the Theresa Aprea Theater, 199 Scoles Ave., Clifton on November 3, 4 & 5 and November 10, 11 & 12.

BIBLE STUDY

An eight week Bible Study group will meet every Monday at 11 AM in the Molloy Center. 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 November 12th.
The next class for grades 2 and 7 – 10 is November 19th.
Denise Pannullo for Grades 1 – 8 at 973-779-1439
Victoria Velasco for Confirmation at 973-798-8772

To read complete bulletin click here