September 16, 2018

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Singing Circles of Color

The Singing Circles of Color symbol above represents our Theme. Notice (color version at 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.

Reflection Story
The attractive young woman is at the hardware store to get a duplicate of her car key. The store clerk asks, “You’re a model?” It is exactly what a woman wants to hear. She responds, “Well, no, I’m not, in fact I’m turning thirty this week but I’m very flattered.” The clerk stops her right there, points to the car keys and repeats slowly and loudly, “Year… and…model?” (Kirsten Jeppson adapted).

Our story illustrates that whatever image we might have in our heads about who we are, we are all created in a certain year and as a specific model. We are human and created as body, mind and spirit.

Jesus asks his disciples in the Gospel today, “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus asks the question so that he might understand how best to minister to others not because he is confused about his own identity. Jesus was fully aware that he was both human and divine and that because of his humanity, suffering was inevitable. Peter does not want to hear the truth that there are crosses in every life.

As Isaiah points out in today’s first reading, the good news is that God is ready and willing to “help” in every situation. Honestly turning to God in faith is the key to receiving help in times of trouble. St. James points out the Catholic perspective that faith and prayer must be accompanied by works which are love in action.

Our Singing Circles of Color can symbolize our humanity in its three components which are body, mind and spirit. These aspects of our lives are deeply integrated and are all to be considered when we are living our faith and acting with love.

Reflection Questions
When suffering visits, we need to pay attention to all three parts of ourselves – body, mind and spirit.
Faith is our key, love is our action.
FAITH – we reflect with God in prayer about our rest, exercise, food, use of mood altering substances, environment, appreciation of beauty, prayerful use of our senses, paying attention to our intuition and God’s gift of wisdom at work in our lives.
ACTION – What loving actions will I take for the good of my body which is God’s gift to me?

FAITH – We believe that God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Be honest with God. Do not be afraid to express negative emotion with God, even if it is directed at God. All loving relationships are based on honesty – God can take it!
ACTION – Ask the question in prayer, “OK God, what’s the good news?” What one action can you take to be good news for another person? Do it.

FAITH – In the singing circle that represents our wholeness, the very heart and center where all circles intersect and come together, is represented as a rainbow. The rainbow in the Bible is a symbol of hope, new creation, forgiveness, healing, renewal and a reminder that as St. Paul writes:
‘ultimately all things work together for good with God’s power at work within us which accomplishes much more than we could ever hope for or imagine.’
We need not fear the quiet of prayer because at the center of our very being is God’s own spirit waiting to embrace us with unconditional acceptance.
ACTION – Use Our Parish Jubilee Hymn “Sing a New Church” for your prayerful reflection. Read the hymn through once, read it again or sing it to yourself slowly. What word or phrase: Comforts, Challenges, Teaches and/or Speaks to you? These are the area or areas that God wishes to touch and heal within you. Pay attention, speak to God honestly about your body, mind and spirit. Listen carefully as God whispers God’s song of unconditional love. May God continue to shape each circle of your life ever more colorful, wider, richer, deeper, fuller and may you be ever more free.

Our Parish Jubilee Hymn
“Sing a New Church”

1. Summoned by the God who made us
Rich in our diversity,
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
Richer still in unity:
Refrain: Let us praise the gifts that differ
With good news our ministry,
Sing a new church into being,
Love in action, faith our key.

2. Radiant vision, past companions,
Whose foundation paved the way
Through their service in Christ’s mission,
We advance their work today. (Refrain)

3. Trust the goodness of creation;
Trust the Spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised,
Colored rich from what has been. (Refrain)

4. Bring the hopes of every nation;
Bring the art of every race.
Weave a song of peace and justice;
Let it sound through time and space. (Refrain)

5. Draw together at one table
All the human family;
Shape a circle ever wider
And a people ever free. (Refrain)
Written by: D. Delores Dufner, OSB b. 1939, The Sisters of St. Benedict
Music: Nettelton: Journeysongs 3rd ed. (adapted.)


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