October 14, 2018

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SING A NEW CHURCH
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Singing Circles of Color
The Singing Circles of Color symbol above represents our Theme. Notice (color version at www.stphilip.org and Church Banner) the dynamic relationships that each individual circle and a variety of combinations of circles share. Through relationships there is a plethora of creation – new colors and diverse sounds. We SING A NEW CHURCH in the Key of Faith as Love in Action.

75th Jubilee Parish Theme: Sing A New Church
We sing the good news of God’s love. Our song begins as a single note of love whispered to us by God at the very moment of our creation. In every breath through the years we draw notes and melodies together in our relationship with our self, others and God. Our song crescendos in the joyous eternal choir which is the hymn of heaven, a song of never ending praise and thanksgiving.

God’s song of love is gently played in every heart and heard as we share our unique song as Love in Action. Every time a gift or talent is given for another, our church community sings a new song and a new church into being. Faith is our key which gives voice to our collective mission which is to do Christ’s Work, Opus Christi.

During the next weeks we will explore the living relationships represented in the symbols above:

Father Son Spirit, God Self Others, Creation Redemption Sanctification, Body Mind Spirit, Gift Gratitude Action, Awakening Interpreting Responding.

WEEK VI

Left, Right, Center
Josh Weston, from our neighboring town of Montclair, enjoys telling the following story.

“As my two sons were climbing into the back seat of our car, Eric, five, yelled, “I call the left side!”
That didn’t sit well with Ron, four. “No, I want the left side!”
“I want the left side!”
“No, I want the left side!”
Intervening, I said, “Since Eric is older, he can have the left side.”
“Thanks, Dad!” said Eric.
“Which side is left?” (RD.COM 7/8/18)

Reading this story, we might think “Oh, that’s so like kids!” However, if we are honest we recognize ourselves in those children. We often find ourselves wanting this or that, wanting another person to do thus or so, and wondering what God desires in the middle of it all.

Using the image of our theme, there are three circles converging in life:
1. What I want
2. What someone else wants
3. What God wants

Meeting in the middle by becoming Love in Action is challenging. Focusing our minds and hearts so that we meet in the center is not an easy process because sometimes we don’t even know what we want ourselves. How can we merge the three circles of God, self, others?

Our first reading speaks of wisdom as the Divine gift given through prayer. Wisdom teaches us to discern, judge and decide to be Love in Action. Prayer enables us to discern what we want, opens us to the needs of others and helps us to recognize what God is asking of us – which is always the loving thing.

Our second reading describes God’s word as a two-edged sword that cuts through our confusing and conflicting motives and intentions. God’s word teaches, “Ask and you shall receive.” We always receive wisdom and guidance when we ask.

The young man in the Gospel asks, “What must I do?” Jesus advises him to let go of his possessions meaning his preconceived ideas of what is necessary or important. Letting go of possessions is more than physical goods. Possessions also means our need to win, to be right and to make our point. Jesus acknowledges that this is difficult. It is almost impossible for us to let go but, “nothing is impossible with God.” We are encouraged to reflect in prayer on the “treasure in heaven” which is the eternal value of loving actions.

Singing a New Church in the key of faith, is accomplished by becoming Love in Action. Prayer is the key that offers us the gift of wisdom. Wisdom begins with asking the right questions. The following questions asked in prayer are paths to wisdom.

Reflection Questions to Wisdom and Love in Action
1. God, what are you asking from me in this situation?
2. Will what I am worried, angry, obsessed about at this moment matter in twenty-four hours?
3. Am I focusing on winning and proving that I am right instead of considering the loving action?
4. Am I pursuing treasure in heaven or trying to prove a point for the here and now?
5. What action will I take?

The gift of wisdom empowers us to be Love in Action because God is in the heart of every circle left, right and center!

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