Dear PFG members and friends,
Where do the weeks go? I cannot believe that half of January 2022 is already behind us. I hope this continues to find you well and that you have all had some rest and recuperation as we prepare for another year.
Currently, we are witnessing albeit slowly the devastation in Tonga and its surrounding islands. All they have currently, is one another. Their families and communities which are in real chaos and strife. We witness first-hand the family and friends waiting here in New Zealand and Australia for news, any news and we sit and pray with them in their grief, anxiety and worry. Our hearts go out to them at this time. It is a lesson on what is important –“family and friends”.
On one of the readings this Sunday we are reminded, “You together are Christ’s body, but each a different part of It” – ( from 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). I thought this is appropriate to consider as we start another year supporting our Passionist Family Groups within our parishes. We all have a part to play in the process of living our lives and in following Jesus. Every person has gifts that can be utilised for the betterment of others and in working together those gifts can be better utilised if we adapt and adjust to our changing circumstances. There have been many and there will be many more to come.
Faith is central. A faith that stems from the belief that God loves us and is with us. This faith is a living, vibrant touchstone to human existence. We are not shielded from the struggles of life but called to support, encourage, stand with and for others, to forgive, to be just and to be compassionate. Not one of these is easy as they each demand a commitment to be our best self.
The gospel this Sunday also supports and guides us as to what we are called to. Sadly, that will not be the comfortable life as it will call us out to be, ‘for others’. In this gospel we have Jesus speaking through the words of the prophet Isaiah announcing what his ‘mission’ will be. The words and meaning from this are clear to all and allows us to reflect on how we too can be followers of Jesus.
Unrolling the scroll Jesus found the place where it is written: Luke’s Gospel.
“The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’”
Our response to each other is paramount and in our PFG’s it is an expectation that we be ‘family’ for each other. This means connecting despite the difficulties and overlooking issues to be a support, an encourager, a mentor, a friend, a believer who is trying to emulate the values and practices of Jesus. As stated by so many this pandemic calls much from us and raises our fears and anxieties. Let us not be overrun by these but steer a steady ship based on values of love, compassion, forgiveness and service.
“In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future! “
~ Mehmet Murat Ildan
National Coordinator Itinerary: Coming up the next two weeks…..
Thurs Jan 20 Travel to Nelson for combined group coordinators meeting from both
Nelson and Richmond.
Fri Jan 21 Meeting with Moteuka Coordinators in Mot and then PFG meeting in the evening
Sat Jan 22 Fly to ChCh catch up with Straights
Sun Jan 23 Drive to Ashburton and have meeting with team re relaunch then drive to Dunedin and
have meeting with FG team and stay overnight with Jan and Colin McLeod
Mon Jan 24 Meet with Bishop Michael then drive to Invercargill and meet with priests and then PFG
cords and stay O/N
Tues Jan 25 Drive back to ChCh
Wed Jan 26 in ChCh
Thurs Jan 27 in ChCh attend meeting re relaunch in ChCh Norht parish with
Murray ad Aileen Straight
Fri Jan 28 Fly to Wellington– Meet Wellington Regional team
Sat Jan 29. Home – Day off
Sun Jan 30. Home – Day off
Mon Jan 31 Home
Tues Feb 1 Drive to New Plymouth and meet with group coordinators
Wed Feb 2. Drive to Palmerston North and meet with PFG team – drive home.
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 23 January 2022
We are not alone as we pray as we belong to a living, transforming community of believers united by our baptism. Scripture reflection: Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.
First reading: Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10
Responsorial psalm: Ps 18(19):8-10, 15
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-20
Gospel: Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
Link to readings – click here
On this ‘Sunday of the Word of God’, we are invited to deepen our relationship with the Lord through our devotion and dedication to reading and praying with scripture. In each reading, we hear how the Spirit of the Lord revives, liberates, sustains, unites and gives life.
The law of the Lord is read out by Ezra (First Reading), and the people are taught to celebrate it. The joy of the Lord is their stronghold. The Psalm celebrates God’s law of love: each line is a litany of the comfort, joy and strength that can be drawn from the Word of God.
Paul teaches that although the Christian community is diverse, with different strengths and perspectives, we are all united in the Spirit of the Lord though our baptism (Second Reading).
Jesus, filled with the spirit of the Lord, reads from the word of God and proclaims that Isaiah’s prophecy is embodied and fulfilled in him (Gospel). Jesus liberates, heals, transforms and brings good news.
As followers of Jesus who are united by the living Spirit of God, this is our calling too. With our lives centred on Scripture, the living word of God, we are not alone as we pray. We belong to a living, transforming community of believers united by our baptism.
- What do you call a factory that makes okay products?” “A satisfactory.
- “Dear Math, grow up and solve your own problems.”
- “What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet?” “Supplies!”
- “Have you heard about the chocolate record player? It sounds pretty sweet.”
- “What did the ocean say to the beach?” “Nothing, it just waved.”
- “Why do seagulls fly over the ocean?” “Because if they flew over the bay, we’d call them bagels.”
- “I only know 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know y.”
- “How does the moon cut his hair?” “Eclipse it.”
- “What did one wall say to the other?” “I’ll meet you at the corner.”
- “What did the zero say to the eight?” “That belt looks good on you.”
Have a good week everyone and a restful and fun weekend.
Love and blessings,