Dear Passionist Family Group members and friends,
Another week passes and this week we see one of the most powerful gospel stories, from John’s gospel, the adulterous woman. It is yet another story that teaches us so much about the mind and heart of Jesus and therefore, the God he spoke about. This God, is not a judge but, a listener, a friend, one who walks the truth recognising that humans fail and need forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance.
The saying, “there go I but for the grace of God” has so much truth for us. It is so easy to be correct, be righteous, be the powerful one and that my practice of following the law puts me on a run, above others. In Jesus’ eyes and heart nothing could be further from the God of compassion, justice and forgiveness. This story, with its non-verbal’s demonstrates to us the action of one who listens, who cares, who understands and responds with compassion and the readiness to allow people, to start again. God works in and through us. Therefore, we need to be tolerant, kind and forgiving of one another.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he shares with us how in his life and attitude changes from his encounter with Jesus. It is a pursuit to be like Jesus, in all things. It is this faith statement that rules his life; “Nothing can outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” This relentless pursuit in faith and love that seeks to repeat in my (our) life, the way Jesus lived and died. The example and encouragement is there and we are asked to follow – connecting and reaching out to others despite their cultural background or situation. The liberation of all humans is a daily challenge. As Mary McKillop said in 1882, “Help one another on, and forgive and forget anything painful in the past”
Keep up the good work of connecting with your Passionist Family group members and as the tide changes with Omicron, let us face the future with hope, courage and an attitude that God is with us. Keep being hospitable, checking. Up on how others are and be patient, forgiving and tolerant with each other. “In so much as you did this to one of the least brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
Currently, I am in Auckland (first time since June last year) meeting East Coast Bays PFG’s thanks to Lindsay and Colin Brand and met with their pp Fr Emiel a lovely man. I also met with Fr John at Pt Chev PP afterwards with Pat Branson and Laureen Simmonds to discuss PFG’s past and present. They are keen to relaunch them and will be supportive. Fr John is going to discuss it with his Pastoral Council on at their next meeting. Then visited and had a very positive meeting with Fr Raphael at Orewa. He is keen to get PFG up and running in the parish. I have planned to be back here in late April and follow up with East Coast Bays, Helensville and then again in Mid May for speaking at Orewa, Trustees meeting, Companions and Howick PFG coordinators. In the meantime I catch up on Zoom with Johnsonville via Kerry and John Kleinsman on 5 April. I will also meet with Levin, Paraparaumu and Kapiti and their PP’s April 21 and their Coordinators 29 April. Stokes Valley on Sunday 24 April. Catch up with Palmerston North in early May.
Scripture reflection: Fifth Sunday in Lent Year C, 3 April 2022.
All I want to know is Christ and the Resurrection
First reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 125(126)
Second reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Gospel: John 8:1-11
Link to readings – click here
We are invited today to recognise the utter completeness of God’s forgiveness, and his desire to restore us to new life.
The prophet Isaiah tells how the people learned anew that their God was to be known not only through remembering the past, but also in the experience of their lives in the here and now. (First Reading) The Psalm recalls and celebrates the joy experienced by the exiles as they return home. God’s mercies in the past give grounds for hope in any present distress.
Paul loves Christ deeply, and vividly longs to ‘have Christ, and be given a place in him’. He yearns to be in an intimate relationship with him. Yet he also knows that he cannot be complacent and that he is still ‘straining ahead’ for what is to come. (Second Reading).
The Gospel tells the story of those who look for the public humiliation and condemnation of the woman taken in adultery, and also of Jesus himself. The accusers have a narrow view of the mercy of God, and wish to use the woman as an opportunity for scoring points against Jesus. However, Jesus understands wisely and demonstrates bravely the overwhelming mercy of God.
- What does a cow use to do math?
- What would bears be without the letter B?
- What do you get if you cross an angry sheep with a moody cow?
An animal that’s in a baaaaaaaaad moooooooood.
- Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building?
Of course! Buildings can’t jump.
- What did the alpaca say to his date?
“Want to go on a picnic? Alpaca lunch.”
- Why do seagulls fly over the sea?
If they flew over the bay, they’d be called bagels.
- Why are snails bad at racing?
- What do you call a penguin in the White House?
- What do you call a kangaroo’s lazy joey?
A pouch potato.
- How does a boar sign its name?
With a pig pen.