Good morning / Morena, to all our Passionist Group Family and friends,
I hope this finds each of you doing well and feeling positive about your life, family, community and friends. The bite of omicron has yet to hit so let us remain in a positive frame of mind keep to the safety measures and at the same time keep connecting with others.
Each morning I go for around an hours walk on the Greytown Rail trail which starts about a six minute walk from my home. It is something that I delight in and some days our dog Brax puts his paw down preferring to hide under the bed and enjoy a lie in. The view of the Tararua’s is just spectacular and different in different types of weather. One has to adapt and adjust to the weather conditions but it always fills me with a sense of peace and appreciation of the beauty around me.
Then, there are the people, many whom I have got to introduce myself to; some I have helped with instructions and others who ignore me. (not many mind you). What I find amazing is the impact of greeting people and saying hello and how are you? There is a sort of transformation that takes place. On first appearances some people look grumpy, some deep in thought, some worried, some in their own little world, some happy to see someone else.
Whenever I smile and greet people I always notice the change in their demeanour and it is a sort of experience like a light coming on. Their expression changes and then their voice calls out with a tinge of excitement.. This, for me, is a process of transformation and I too have been on the receiving end. I think we underestimate the call to be a friend to others and how simple the process can be. We are sometimes preoccupied with getting the job done or the visit over and in this rush we miss the moments to ‘be’ with others.
I have heard in my PFG travels that some groups who have not met in months or longer and much of it goes back to fear and putting things off. We need connections in our life and all of us are capable no matter at what age of connecting to others. My mother for instance wrote letters to people she knew but also others she didn’t but heard through her children or others that there had been a sad or tragic event, something had gone wrong for them and she was so moved that she wrote to support them. At her funeral we met so many people who were the recipient of her thoughtfulness, kindness, humour and care. Little things that make a big difference.
So, this week I encourage you all to get a copy of your family group list and then, each week phone at least one member and make contact – a ‘connection’. Covid nor any other disaster should not stop us from being kind or caring. We have these Passionist Family Groups groups to be church – ‘a family’ and in that sense add values of love, care, compassion, service and forgiveness to our community.
In Luke’s gospel this week I am struck by the fact that Jesus comes down from the mountain and stands on level ground with the people. In other words, he is with us in the ordinariness of life, the pain, the frustration, the hurt, the joy and in the laughter.
Let’s transform some person and life this week. “In so much as you did this to one of the least of these you did it to me”. (Matt 25) Let’s trust and with faith be happy with who we have in our lives and celebrate them. Then share it with others. It’s that Simple!
Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 13 February 2022
The theme of this Sunday’s readings can be summarised in two words: happiness and trust.
Link to readings – click here
Looking for happiness has always been at the core of people’s preoccupations. In the First Reading, Jeremiah tells his audience that they need to make a clear choice: they either trust only in people, or only in God. With striking images from nature, Jeremiah contrasts dry, wild wastelands with a luxurious tree growing by the waterside.
Using similar imagery, the Psalm makes the same point: trusting in the Lord will bring happiness. It starts with a ‘beatitude’ which is also at the core of the Gospel, this year read in Luke’s version. Luke’s Beatitudes are shorter than those in Matthew’s Gospel, and also include warnings for those who have made the wrong choices: ‘Alas for you …’
For Paul in the Second Reading, it is Christ’s resurrection which is the source of our hopes and happiness. If he had not risen, we would have remained the most unfortunate of all people.
So our prayer this week may well centre around the choices we have made, do make, and will make, as we try to find happiness – not just for ourselves, but also for those around us or for the world at large. We can perhaps also ask the Lord for greater trust in him.
“Why did Billy get fired from the banana factory? He kept throwing away the bent ones.”
“Dad, can you put my shoes on?” “No, I don’t think they’ll fit me.”
“Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot.”
“What does a lemon say when it answers the phone?” “Yellow!”
“This graveyard looks overcrowded. People must be dying to get in.”
“What kind of car does an egg drive?” “A yolkswagen.”
“Dad, can you put the cat out?” “I didn’t know it was on fire.”
“How do you make 7 even?” “Take away the s.”
“How does a taco say grace?” “Lettuce pray.”
“What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurt-y.”
“Why didn’t the skeleton climb the mountain?” “It didn’t have the guts.”
I have planned a trip around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
12 February: Hastings
13 February: Napier. – celebrate their 30 years
14 February: Whakatane
15 February: Mt Maunganui then to Pukehina
16 February: Tauranga then to Cambridge
17 February: Paeroa
18 February: Te Kuiti ???? then onto Waihi
19 February: Otorohanga/Te Awamutu then to Hamilton
20 February: Hastings
21 February: Home