Christ Be Our Light

christ-be-our-light

  • Tired of black and white, all or nothing thinking?
  • Do your fears keep you in the dark?
  • Living in the shadow of doubt about God’s ability to be your strength in every weakness?
  • Looking for a key to set you free from all shades of anger and resentment?
  • Is your love dimmed and your heart needing to be open to love of yourself, others and God?

Our Lenten Theme – Christ Be Our Light, is an opportunity for God’s unconditional acceptance, forgiveness and healing to shine through our dark thoughts, feelings and actions. Prayer is the key transforming fear into faith, doubt into hope and closed hearts into love in action.


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week I

  • Tired of black and white, all or nothing thinking?
  • Do your fears keep you in the dark?
  • Living in the shadow of doubt about God’s ability to be your strength in every weakness?
  • Looking for a key to set you free from all shades of anger and resentment?
  • Is your love dimmed and your heart needing to be open to love of yourself, others and God?

Our Lenten Theme – Christ Be Our Light, is an opportunity for God’s unconditional acceptance, forgiveness and healing to shine through our dark thoughts, feelings and actions. Prayer is the key transforming fear into faith, doubt into hope and closed hearts into love in action.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week II

  • Tired of black and white, all or nothing thinking?
  • Do your fears keep you in the dark?
  • Living in the shadow of doubt about God’s ability to be your strength in every weakness?
  • Looking for a key to set you free from all shades of anger and resentment?
  • Is your love dimmed and your heart needing to be open to love of yourself, others and God?

Christ Be Our Light Theme
Prayer is the key transforming fear into faith, doubt into hope and closed hearts into love in action.
Join us by participating in the prayer and practices offered through the bulletin, website and weekly homilies.
Step into the bright light of freedom by praying our Lenten prayer daily:

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


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week III

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

Reflection Story

Ten Fingers are Overrated

Jayce was a bubbly boy until his first day in kindergarten. Returning home, he asked his mother, “why did God make me with no left arm?” His heartbroken mother was in the dark about that question herself. Instead of asking why, she asked who, what, where, when and how can I help my son? The mother did some research and found a 6 foot 3 inch, eighth grade basketball player named Trashaun who was also missing his right arm. A meeting was arranged for the boys. A bright light came into both of their lives when through sharing the darkness of their disability they saw a dawning of hope and courage. The boys played basketball and exchanged T-shirts that read, “Ten Fingers are Overrated.” (adapted:rd.com/9-2018)
The darkness of Jayce’s perspective was changed because another boy shared his experience, strength and hope. Instead of asking why, the boys asked every other question to bring light to their situation while accepting the dark moments. Surely both would face challenges in the future but once they had shared the light of each other, they no longer feared the darkness.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week IV

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

The Beautiful Light of Broken Places
When a mirror is broken, one often hears the superstitious phrase, “Oh, seven years of bad luck.” As believers in the light of Jesus Christ, we do not see our world as a place for luck or even as one of good or bad fortune. We are people who see with the “eyes of faith” meaning, that our world is a place of God’s gifts, blessings and Providence at work. St. Paul reminds us that, “all things work together for good for those who love God. Actually broken glass can be quite beautiful, as is demonstrated in the stained-glass windows that grace the main entrance wall of our church and Narthex (lobby) area.

The rich colored, jeweled tone glass has a French name, Dalle de verre, which means – thick slabs of glass. Like most things, the French name is more beautiful. The origin of Dalle de verre glass dates to the Byzantine Empire whose love of mosaics was channeled into the creation of similar patterns in colorful windows. The style went out of fashion until French artists in the 1920s revitalized the art form. Pioneer Auguste Lobouret brought this form of stained-glass to Canada after World War II and to the United States in the early 1950s. 75 years ago, when this glass was chosen for our church, it was – pun intended – cutting edge!

To read complete bulletin click here


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.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week VI

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

Is That Better?
Is that better? . . . is asked when one’s chin is resting gently on a phoropter. A phoropter? Yes, a phoropter is the instrument used during an eye examination to measure refractive response to determine eyeglass prescriptions. The patient sits behind a phoropter and looks through it at an eye chart. The optometrist then changes lenses, while asking the patient for feedback on which setting gives the best vision. www.verywellhealth.com. During our theme we have been learning how to see more clearly by inviting the light of Christ into our shadows and darkness through prayer. Prayer acts like a phoropter because it changes the way we see. Prayer adjusts the lens of our vision, our thinking, feeling and actions. Prayer helps us to see with a new focus. Christ our light shines into our lives asking the question. . .is that better?

In today’s Gospel Jesus sees the sinful woman through the lens of love. Jesus changes the focus of her accusers by adjusting the lens of their judgment. Jesus teaches them to look at their own darkness before turning their gaze to the shadows in others. Prayer is the lens that changes how we see for the better. Isaiah the prophet hears God speak to him saying “See, I make all things new!” God makes things new and better through prayer. Prayer does not often change what is seen such as, circumstances and other people. Prayer always changes our focus and perspective to help us to see the next right and loving thing to do.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT: Week VII

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

Palm Sunday 2019
Holy Week: Christ, Be Our Light!

Our Holy Week is a journey from light to darkness to an everlasting light. During Lent we have examined and prayed with the shaded areas of our lives by inviting Christ to shine in the darkness in colorful and diverse ways. The following reflections, inspired by
our Theme Hymn, are a helpful guide for each day of Holy Week culminating in the light of Easter.

Reflection Instructions:
1. Read or sing while praying with the hymn verse.

2. Discuss these questions and their answers with God in prayer.

a. What meaning do you wish these words to mean in my life?

b. What healing, strengthening or loving light do you wish to shine into my life?

c. How may I be your healing, strengthening or loving light today for others?

3. Conclude by reciting or singing the theme refrain as a prayer of praise.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

Easter 2019
Turn On The Light

The 1940 film Young Tom Edison tells the story about Edison as an adolescent. A game changing part of young Tom’s life is shown. One night his mother is stricken with severe pain and collapses. The doctor is summoned who informs them that Mrs. Edison needs an emergency appendectomy and that he will have to wait until the morning because he needs daylight to operate. Edison does not curse the darkness but becomes love in action by zealously gathering candles, lanterns and mirrors from neighbor’s homes and the local hardware store. He illuminates his family’s dining room table where the operation will take place with the gathered and mirrored light. The plan works. The reflection of all those lights joined for a single-purpose gives new life to his mother. Edison vowed, “One-day people will not live in the darkness. I shall bring them light.”

Of course several years later, Thomas Edison took action and because of him we do not have to be in the darkness; we can Turn On The Light. Because of the invention of the lightbulb, whenever we choose, we live in the light.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

Divine Mercy Sunday Devotion

Jesus I Trust in You
In the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that devotions to Divine Mercy could be celebrated from that year forward on the Second Sunday of Easter. This was proclaimed at the Canonization Mass of St. Faustina Kawalska, who worked throughout her life to make all aware of the merciful love of God. St. Faustina (1905–1938) was born and raised in Poland. Following a vocation to religious life, she was accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. As a member of the Congregation, she worked as a cook, gardener, and porter. In her spiritual life, her contemplation on the Mercy of God led her to develop a childlike trust in God and deep love for her neighbor.

In her years in the convent, St. Faustina heard a call from God to make God’s mercy known to the world so that the world may more fully receive God’s healing grace. St. Faustina promoted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which consists of the recitation of prayers to the Eternal Father with the use of the rosary for the sake of Christ’s sorrowful passion.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.
Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  • Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”
  • Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.
  • Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.
  • Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.
  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

To read complete bulletin click here


CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT

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

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”

Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.

To read complete bulletin click here


THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

NOVENA HONORING THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
As we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity, we acknowledge that the mystery is never fully understood, but can be experienced, felt, and known.
The prayer written by Joyce Rupp, O.S.M., in “Out of the Ordinary”, may open us to a grateful and heartfelt experience of our God who is Eternal Love.
A novena (from Latin: novem, “nine”) is an ancient tradition of devotional praying over a period of nine successive days.
Using the prayer, “The Heart of Eternal Love”, the following novena may be prayed in honor of The Blessed Trinity.
One stanza of the poem prayed three times a day accompanied by the action suggested in the reflection constitutes the novena completion.
May the Heart of the Eternal Love of God burn more brightly through the practice of this devotion.

To read complete bulletin click here


THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

As we celebrate the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, we believe in the transforming power of Christ’s love. The Eucharist in word and sacrament nourishes us as we grow in holiness and as we are empowered to share our time, talent and treasure.

The poem “Praise the Shaper of Hearts” written by Joyce Rupp, O.S.M. is a prayerful opportunity to give God thanks. Thanksgiving is what the Greek word “Eucharist” means in English.

ACTIVITY:
As you reflect on each stanza ask:

  • “How do I experience God in this way?”
  • “How am I being called to share this gift with others?”

To read complete bulletin click here


THE NEW PASTOR MAKER

The toddler is carrying his toy hammer across the room with a determined gait. His uncle asks “Kenny, what are you going to make?” The boy rolls his eyes as if his uncle isn’t quite bright and says emphatically, “Noise!”

Asking each other questions is the way we share and understand relationships and lives. In recent days I have been asked many questions by medical professionals, family, friends and parishioners.

You may know that last Sunday morning I was admitted to the hospital for what I later learned was a heart attack. The next day I had four stents placed in my LAD artery which had a 99% blockage. God has blessed us all in this time in which we live, with great medical knowledge and skill. I was told that the situation was called “The Widow Maker”. Well that is not true in my case; it would have been “The New Pastor Maker”. Funny, yes and I am deeply grateful for all those God sent to help me.

To read complete bulletin click here


14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

SACRED SAUNTERING AND HOLY LOLLYGAGGING
“Where did you go?”
“Out.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing.”

There you have it: the cloud of suspicion that has hung over sauntering and lollygagging for years, and not just among the parents of teenagers. Little wonder. What use could a culture driven by time management experts have for aimless strolling and fooling around wasting time?

Of course, plans, schedules, and deadlines all have their times and places. But it’s time to cry foul when they become the criteria by which we define and judge the human spirit according to the two great commandments: “Be productive! Be useful!” Early Christian monastic desert dwellers tell the tale of a visitor scandalized to discover the great ascetic, St. Anthony of Egypt, at play with his disciples. St. Anthony pointed out that a bow will break if strung taut for too long. And so, he suggested, will we.

To read complete bulletin click here


15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

TROUBLE LETTING GO

Here we are just a few weeks into summer and while recently visiting a local craft store, I was stunned by the array of fall colors, artificial foliage, plastic pumpkins and yes even the beginnings of a Christmas display. All this meant only one thing, summer would soon come to an end, but I wasn’t ready to let go. I haven’t been on vacation and God knows I have not taken enough walks in the park, or enjoyed the summer concerts under the stars, but there it was, proof positive that time was marching on and soon the green leaves would become an auburn canopy of colors and the arrival of cooler weather.

While I was a bit taken aback by this giant leap forward on life’s timeline, I realized it was not as out of place as I first thought. Sure, if you try, you can almost count the days, and you can see that there is an unspecified yet finite amount of time to enjoy family and friends.

To read complete bulletin click here


16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

The Better Part

The story of Jesus’ visit with Martha and Mary is one of my favorite bible stories. I think because it’s so easy to relate to Martha and Mary. Who hasn’t experienced Martha’s frustration and anxiety at some point or heard Jesus telling us to just be still? And I’m always so inspired by the fact that Martha feels so comfortable in her relationship with Jesus that she actually tells him what to do: “You tell my sister to come and help me!”

Being more like Martha myself, I often wonder why is it that Mary has chosen the “better part”? Aren’t we all called to serve? Isn’t that what discipleship and ministry are all about? Martha was busy about the ministry of hospitality. Yet she feels frustrated and irritated in her ministry. “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?” To serve others, especially Jesus or for the love of God should be a joy, not a burden.

To read complete bulletin click here


17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU
Last year, while I was finishing up my last year in the seminary, one of the requirements to get our degree was to take a comprehensive exam. This exam covered all the material that we had learned in our classes over the course of the last four years of graduate school. The way that this exam was set up, was that we were given three questions to answer over the period of a couple hours. After finishing the exam, we were given the results of it a month later after they were reviewed by a handful of our Theology professors. I remember spending a few months studying for this exam and getting stressed out over it, because it had such big impact on me getting my degree from the university. While I was undertaking this challenge, what helped me to get through this very stressful time was prayer. The one phrase that I would repeat to myself was “Jesus, I trust in you.” Every time I began to study and got stressed or nervous, I would recite this simple phrase, and it would help me to refocus. This phrase helped me to see that Jesus was there by my side helping me and through it I was able to place my trust in him. This prayer, then, became a powerful tool in helping me to overcome the anxiety that I had during that time and with God’s help I was able to pass the exam.

In the Bible, the theme of trusting in God is one that can be found throughout it. Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament the Jewish people trusted that God would lead them to the Promised Land, which as we know he did.

To read complete bulletin click here


18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

THE EPIDEMIC OF GREED
In today’s Gospel, a large crowd is gathered around Jesus. Someone tries to get Jesus to settle a family dispute. He says, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” Jesus declines and warns the people against greed saying, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Jesus then tells them a parable about a man who most of us would probably admire.

The man in the parable is already wealthy. One particular year, he has such an exceptional harvest that he is left with a dilemma. He has a vast surplus that there is no place to store it all. “What should I do?” he asks himself. So, he makes the practical, conservative choice. He decides to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. Then, with all this security, he figures he will have so many good things stored up for many years, that he can now “rest, eat, drink, be merry!” He can retire and take it easy. Isn’t this more or less the typical American dream? Make enough money to provide for security and comfort in your retirement years. By popular standards, this is a very wise man.

To read complete bulletin click here


19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and
proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not
expect, the Son of Man will come.”

To read complete bulletin click here