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”.

May we recall the age-old adage: “Who we are (born into this world, a child of God) is God’s gift to each of us … What we make of ourselves, is our gift back to God and to others.

As we move into the final season of Ordinary Time – as we prepare for the Season of Advent – may we continue to take stock of our spiritual disposition. Each Sunday, as we bless our “collection” of time and talents and treasures, we thank God for his abundant blessings and generosity on our lives. Which prompts us to reply: “Blessed be God forever.”

As we look around at the many people gathered here at St. Philip Neri Parish, we quickly realize that no two of us are alike. God had given each of us special gifts (talents), specific to each of our own character and personal well-being. Therefore, when we are generous with our “giftedness”, these gifts will enrich the lives of others, and our own life as well.

Our question: as we prepare ourselves for “Advent” – Am I using my “talents” for the benefit of others, as befits a disciple of Jesus?

Each Sunday the husband would say to his wife, “Honey, you go to Church and pray for both of us.” Each Sunday she went to Church with her children … and prayed for her husband and everyone else she cherished in her life. This went on for several years. One evening the husband had a dream – that both he and his wife had died and were standing before the door of heaven.

St. Peter opened the door and permitted the wife to enter, saying, “You can come in for both of you … thank you for your faithfulness.” He was not “ready”; he still has work to do!

Each of us has been created by God to do our part in building the Kingdom of God. Each of us are and will be called to accountability. As many pulled the sleave of Zephaniah, “Can we walk with you because we see that you walk with God!” May each of us constantly feel the tug of others on our sleeve, as they ask the same question of us.

God is good … all the time – when we allow the goodness of God to permeate the lives of others.

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

Fr. Mike Dechant OMI