To the parishioners of St. Philip Neri Parish, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints –

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Once upon a time … there was a beautiful porcelain teapot – an heirloom of the family. It had been handed down from one generation to the next. It was only used on special occasions and with special visitors.

But then it happened … a careless servant dropped the teapot, breaking off the handle and the lid. The beautiful teapot was now considered useless; it was thrown out unto the refuse dump. Coats of dirt and dust blotted out any trace of “beauty”, any hope to find something of value in the broken teapot.

It was also the practice in the community that as people threw out their “garbage”, they would also browse around for anything that might seem to be of value to them. The local florist was digging through the garbage when he discovered the teapot. Despite its brokenness, he saw some beauty in its brokenness. He wondered why anyone would throw it away. He took the teapot home as his new-found treasure.

As he was cleaning the teapot, he got an idea: “I will use it as a flowerpot.” He filled it with fresh dirt and planted a seed in it. He placed it on a windowsill, in full view of the morning sun. In time, the neighbors stopped to admire the flower, and the creative vase in which it grew.

This is what God can and does for us – he takes our brokenness (our sinfulness) and transforms it into something beautiful. Sin is not some physical stain that can be washed away. Sin is not a “thing”, but rather a condition of brokenness and woundedness that we live in. Each of us is damaged and broken; we inherit a tarnished human condition.

The “seed” that is planted in the soil of our lived attitudes is the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to redeem us, that is, to restore our “original beauty” through the graces of the Holy Spirit. Like the florist, Jesus constantly discovers and rescues us from the dump-heap of life. Jesus wants us to re-discover the beauty that is within us. He sees our brokenness and scars to show us – and others – the goodness of God.

As we prayed during the Christmas Season: “Lord Jesus, you reveal to us the mystery of God’s unconditional love for us. You reveal to us the mystery of our dignity as children of God. You reveal to us the splendour of our eternal destiny.” The mystery of redemption – the Incarnation – is that God reveals both his goodness and our goodness/beauty in and through our brokenness. Jesus’ death on the cross did not eliminate sin and violence in our human condition. Rather, the gift of Resurrection empowers us to live beyond our sinfulness, into a life of peace and beauty, gratitude, and grace.

The gift of the Eucharist is not a reward for our perfection, but rather a tremendous source of healing and transformation. This prompts us to pray: “Lamb of God, who came to heal the sins of the world – and my sins – grant us/me peace”.

We can change the world, because “God is good … all the time”.

So then, Wherever you go, go with God,

Whenever you go, go make a difference.

St Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

Peace and blessings to you, and all your family.

Fr. Mike Dechant OMI

Something from the Parish:

Please keep in your prayers Dayton Patzer and Christina Fowlie-Neufeld, as the begin their journey of faith in the RCIA experience.

A request from St. Philip Elementary School – they would like some knitters and readers! If you have some spare time to spend with our beloved students from St. Philip Elementary School, this is your opportunity to share your knitting skills with students during their lunch hour. Also, teachers are always excited to welcome “elders” into their class – to read to the students and to share some life-stories.

January 23 – St. Philip Neri Parish will host the Alpha experience for young adults. We begin with supper, complements of Fr. Bill … watch the video … then talk about life! Please contact Fr. Mike at (306) 850-9075.

 

Sincerely … Fr. Mike Dechant OMI