A Parish Vision of Hope and Ministry – Week 2

by Fr. Joe

A Parish Vision of Hope and Ministry

Superheroes for Christ – Week 2

A Vision of Hope

“The Spirit’s Power working in us can do more than we can HOPE for or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20
Our parish continues casting a vision of Hope and ministry through Scripture, Church teaching and cultural images during the next weeks. Our goal is fuller participation in God’s Sacred Mission through prayer worship and ministry.

God is our Hope

  • God desires to transform our lives through the gift of the Spirit given in Baptism and already present within us.
  • Our expectation of what God wishes to do for and through us expands through our experiences of God through prayer, worship and service.
  • God works in us so that we may become people of Hope – living with an abiding trust, confidence and optimism in God’s promises.
  • God’s gifts of peace and joy are possible even in challenging circumstances.
  • God is alive and active in us as our eternal source of encouragement.

We are Hope for Each Other

  • God empowers us with every gift and sends us forth each day to be Hope for each other in our every word and deed.
  • God’s power at work in us is for others and is given to be shared in faith with heroic love.
  • Jesus spoke plainly to St. Philip and speaks to us, “In all truth I tell you, whoever believes in me will perform the same works that I do myself, and will perform even greater works” (John 14:12).
  • We are gifted to serve others and granted the grace to carry out the noble work of love through social action.

Superheroes for Christ

The popular cultural image of a Superhero is being used to focus attention on our role in God’s mission.

  • Superhero – an individual entrusted with a heroic mission and granted superpowers to carry out their noble work.
  • In Baptism we are entrusted with and empowered for Christ’s own heroic mission.
  • We are Superheroes for Christ sharing in a heavenly mission through ministry on earth.

Secular Symbol/Sacred Meaning

The most recognizable Superhero symbol is the S. S is also the first letter of the Latin word SPES – which means HOPE. Using our parish colors of green and gold we have converted the secular symbol into a symbol for Christian HOPE. Spirituality, Service and Social are the three ways that we live and act as Superheroes for Christ.

Superheroes for Christ
SPes in Latin = Hope

Explore the animated and musical Presentation entitled “A Parish Vision of Hope and Ministry – Superheroes for Christ” created by Fr. Joe and Fr. Jared on our website: www.stphilip.org

Weekend Scripture Reflection

Moses recounts the great power and saving hand that God promises as a perpetual heritage for all people.

St. Paul gratefully acknowledges that Christ entrusts and strengthens him for God’s work of ministry. God empowers us through the grace of Baptism with faith and love in abundance for our life work.

In the Gospel, Jesus teaches through parables that God is always searching for ways to enter into a deeper relationship with us so that we might experience God’s HOPE, love, healing, forgiveness and power in our lives. God rejoices when we use the Spirit within us through Spirituality, Service and Social action.

Reflection on Spirituality – A Balloon

One power that Superheroes have that we would like is the ability to fly. Good News – as Superheroes for Christ, we can fly! A balloon may be used as an analogy for the way that we are invited to fly – Spiritually.

God has already empowered us with the very Breath of God through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are given what we need by God and we are invited to use what we have been given. When we actively seek God through Spirituality in Prayer, Scripture, Worship, Eucharist, Reconciliation, and when we minister through Service and Social action we are lifted by God’s own Spirit.

We fly in our increased experience of trust and confidence in God. We soar above situations gaining HOPE and a higher vision and perspective. Flying in the Spirit broadens vistas of possibility and renews optimism. The Spirit of God fills us with faith, HOPE and courage in order to transform situations. Our words and actions incarnate God’s promises for us and others. We fly whenever we experience God’s encouragement through the gifts of peace and joy. As Superheroes for Christ, we fly!

Reflection Questions

  • Name one situation in which you feel deflated. How is God seeking you out to share HOPE, strength, grace, faith and love in abundance with you?
  • How best might you respond to this invitation to be filled with God’s own Spirit and be lifted up to gain a different perspective?

Prayerful Activity

Who needs you to help them fly? What action can you take to be an instrument of grace, HOPE and encouragement?

Daily Prayer

God of HOPE, bring forth in us such joy and peace in our faith that the power of the Holy Spirit will enable us to act with heroic love in an abundant life.
Romans 15:13