Parish Garage Sale May 9, 2015 – We Need Your STUFF!

St Philips Knights of Columbus are joining in with the Richmind-wide Garage sale on Saturday 9 May. Please donate new or gently used items-tools, sporting goods, small appliances, small furniture, books, toys and other household goods. All should be clean and in good working order. The church garage will be used as a collection depot; items may be dropped off before any Mass, or between the hours of 10am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Need help in bringing items to the church? Call Luc at 838-2880.  Your support is greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

Fr Bob Writes – April 26, 2015

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God” (1 Jn 3:1). These words which open up our second reading this Sunday are very moving. But they receive even greater force when we understand that the word translated as “given” here should instead be rendered with something like “lavished”. Thus : “See what love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God.” We get similar sentiments in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 1, where he talks about “the riches of the grace which God has lavished upon us.”

God is not miserly or stingy in giving out his gifts. He is not some great supernatural Scrooge. St John says in chapter of his gospel, that God “does not ration out his Spirit” and elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus speaks of God pouring into our lap “a full measure, pressed down and overflowing.” The reference is to the market day practice in Jesus’ time when people would make a fold in their tunic for the merchant to pour out a measure of grain into it. In my earlier career as an officer with the Weights and Measures department of local government, I was used to checking the optic measures used for doling out spirits in a pub, or the weighing pans used for ladling potatoes into bags. I became aware of the various underhand means merchants would use to short-change shoppers.

God is not like that at all. His heart is full of such love for each one of us, and St Paul says in his letter to the Romans (5:5), that God’s love is “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which he has given to us.” Again, the image is of a lavish overflow from the heart of Father – God into our hearts. There is no problem or restriction on God’s part in giving out his graces. The only problem or restriction is on our part in being willing to receive them. If we hold sin or unforgiveness or self-rejection in our hearts, we restrict our capacity to receive fully from God. Jesus says in Luke’s gospel that the best gift God can give us is his Holy Spirit  and in the next few weeks, our readings at Mass will be speaking more and more of this gift of the Spirit and encouraging us to open our hearts to receive more and more of this wonderful gift.

St. Philip TAC Meeting Agenda for April 21, 2015

The St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council (“TAC”) will hold its January meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

In keeping with the TAC’s desire for transparency and accountability to the parish community and to inform it of the issues the TAC deals with, a copy of the meeting agenda can be obtained by clicking here.

While the TAC does not make public its meeting minutes by publishing them to the parish website, parishioners wishing more information on any of the items raised in the meeting can contact either Fr. Bob or Pat McIver, TAC Chair.

Fr Bob Writes – April 19, 2015

Fr Bob writes: The following is a commentary on today’s gospel passage from Fr Denny Dempsey

“How was Jesus’ resurrected body different from that same body prior to the resurrection?” I asked a group of grade school children this past week. “He didn’t need to come in through the door,” one student responded. “He just appeared,” said another. “He had a glorified body,” said a third who had obviously paid good attention in class. “Did he get hungry, thirsty or tired?” I asked. “No, he only ate the fish to show them that he was real”, another smart child answered.

In paragraph 646, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Christ’s resurrection was not a return to earthly life” as was the case with the daughter of Jairus, the widow’s son, and Lazarus, who would all die again. “In his risen body, he (Christ) passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space.” Paul’s letter to the Philippians (2:6-7) tells us that the Son of God “emptied himself” of the divine attributes (all-knowing, unlimited in space and time, etc) while retaining the divine nature, taking on our human nature with its limited attributes. In the resurrection, the divine attributes, which the Son had voluntarily set aside, were returned in a “glorified body.” 

During those days following his resurrection, Jesus “weaned” the apostles off their dependence on him being physically present. He appeared to them only for brief visits. On at least three instances, he had a different appearance and voice than what they were used to. With the Ascension and coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the disciples would come to understand that Jesus was still present with them but in a less limited way in which they had known his presence before.”