March 31, 2019

FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT

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Christ Be Our Light: Week V

Follow our Lenten theme and review past reflections on our website www.stphilip.org

RIGHT, LEFT, CENTER: SEEING GOD IN ALL THINGS
In his early 90s, Patricia Buck’s father-in-law went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the road test to renew his driver’s license. As he approached a four-way stop, he looked to his left, and cruised through the intersection to the sound of horns, squealing brakes and curses. The shaking inspector shouted, “you didn’t even look to your right!” The driver shot back – “that’s my wife’s job – since you’re sitting there you should have looked!”

The story sheds light on the truth about our humanity. Our routines and habits blind us to seeing and experiencing our lives in new ways. In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that he is the light of the world. The light of Christ heals the blind man enabling him to gain physical sight and spiritual insight into the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. Encountering Jesus in prayer cures us of our blindness and helps us to see ourselves, others and God in a new light! St. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to “live as children of the light because light produces every kind of goodness, truth and all that is pleasing to the Lord.”

Our Lenten Theme Christ Be Our Light is teaching us how to be children of the light. We are children of the light scientifically and spiritually. Scientifically we can explore, “The Physics of Electromagnetic Radiation on Ocular Perception.” In the simplest terms all objects ‘give off’ electromagnetic radiation which is received by the cone cells of the eye and focused on by the flexible eye lens. The brain receives these light signals, interprets them and attributes meaning through language. Spiritually, God’s light is seen in a similar way. God created light and everything that is seen and will ever be seen. God radiates God’s love and providence to us through the light radiating from all things. Prayer is the lens that enables us to see all that is as God’s gift. Seeing all as a gift opens our eyes to seeing faith, hope and love in all things, in all people and in ourselves. Prayer is the lens that empowers us to see God’s light, color and care at all times. We look beyond what is seen to the God who is unseen and yet is in all things.

New Work of Art Worship Enhancement
Last week we discussed the light that comes shining through the Dalle de verre windows in our church choir loft and lobby (narthex) areas. Similar art glass was recently placed in our church’s Reredos (the altarpiece or screen behind our altar). The art glass is illuminated from behind and adds a subtle beauty to our altar space. The artwork is designed as an enhancement that supports the focal points of the Ambo and Altar during the Eucharist. At other times the focuses are the Tabernacle and Crucifix. In addition, the delicate glass colors symbolize our lives that shine with diversity, radiating the light of Christ. We shine forth with God’s gifts. Each piece has been intentionally chipped and broken to refract a varied light. The light of Christ shines through our broken places when we embrace forgiveness and healing grace. We radiate our finest colors and truest beauty when we shine with empathetic and compassionate acts of love and service for one another.

Our first reading invites us to see as God sees with the heart. Please join in our prayer so that we can see beyond our routines and habits to focus on a new way of seeing God in all things.

Reflection and Activity
To join in our prayer, choose one or more ways to focus your prayer: Look at the art glass behind the altar, see the photos or video of our windows on our website, visit the church during the week and look at the art glass in the natural sunlight in our lobby area, view your prayer card anytime and anyplace.

As you see the color and beauty before you, recall God’s gifts and providence in your life. Who comes to mind as a gift from the past, the present? What color are various people in your lives as seen in the glass? Who needs your prayer? Who deserves your thanks? Who needs you to bless them? Recognize that Christ is the light that is shining through this lens of prayer. May this beautiful, warm and ever- present light of Christ shine in our hearts, shine in the darkness, may we Lord shine your love, placing our hope and trust in you.

God desires to heal our blind spots by seeing the light of Christ radiating in all things and through us…to the right, to the left, above and below…love in action shining forth from our minds and hearts and works of compassionate service.

Lenten Prayer
Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine in the darkness.
We shine your love,
Placing our hope and trust in you.

To read complete bulletin click here