Morena – Passionist Family Group members and friends,
“How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help while you will not listen;
to cry ‘Oppression!’ in your ear and you will not save?
Why do you set injustice before me, why do you look on where there is tyranny?
Outrage and violence, this is all I see, all is contention, and discord flourishes.” Habakkuk 1:2-3
I have been reflecting on these words from the prophet Habakkuk (this weeks’ first reading) and it could have been written for our current times. The pain, frustration, injustice, poverty, politics, ill effects of health, trauma, weather, natural disasters and the violence we are experiencing has me asking similar questions.
On a lesser level there is this innate fear with many about the reticence of getting out and about. Have we got too comfortable with the online masses and the comforts of just having time for ourselves and no need to venture out to see how others are doing. Yet, the fears will not lessen nor will the trials and tribulations of daily life change; without us making a call to enter into the fray. We may believe that our tiny selves will make little difference nor will our thoughts and reflections, be considered.
But, if we see faith as ‘doing things’ or ‘performing rituals’ and not about trust then, we are going to be disappointed. St Irenaeus wrote in the 2nd Century – theology is “faith seeking understanding’. We are on a journey and the world we live in is fraught due to our humanity and nothing that goes on is actually uncommon to us. It’s how we respond that makes a difference. If we take up our cross as
Mark suggests then, it is Jesus’ words we are being addressed to us: “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”– Mark 8:34
Therefore, “Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. It’s a call to absolute surrender which many of the mystics and saints called, “dying to self”.
This is not easy for us which is why taking the gospel seriously, isn’t either. We will try and we will make mistakes! However, if you see perfection as the goal then you are going to be disappointed.
Jesus said, I want mercy not sacrifice.’ For the God of Jesus – Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness are the hallmarks of living a life to bring others home to God, and themselves. It is our way through the maze of faith, hope and being charitable. We are ‘servants’ and being in this mode we live with an attitude called, ‘hesed’ – loving kindness.
Our Passionist Family Groups are full of people needing support, encouragement, a listening ear, a good laugh and a dose of good conversation. We give and receive these when we connect with others and share our good and difficult times. We need like fisherman to ‘up our nets’, have courage and with faith, move out, into the ‘deep’. There are so many in need of support within and outside of our communities. Many of you have been doing this for basically a life time and it has made ‘family’ a reality in your lives and hearts!
Our Passionist Family Groups are our place where we top up – care, support and in our daily lives offer hope, light, peace and joy to all we meet. We have no time line on following Jesus – it’s not something that offers a ‘Gold Card’ – well done, you made it! Rather, it is a call to be the best we can be to each other and that is why I like what Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated, for speaking out against injustice. “Ask not to have more but to be more”.
We can be more in the down to earth ways that help create community and where together we work for justice and peace – encouraged by Jesus, in Matthew’s gospel, “In so much as you did this to one of these least brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.”(Mt 25:40) or as Pope Francis said today, “Jesus never abandons, coerces or blackmails anyone when they stray. Rather, he patiently waits and is “our greatest and most faithful friend.” Source: CNS. And as St John of the Cross said. “I walk in dark and secure.”
https://youtu.be/NVIpECtQfNM – One Moment in Time – Whitney Houston
Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals
- share & celebrate life & faith
- support one another (especially in need)
- reaching out to & include others
- build community/extended family
- show example to childrenScripture Reflection: Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 2 October 2022. Our relationship with God is to be one of total and unconditional love and serviceLectionary readings
First reading: Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 94(95):1-2, 6-9
Second reading: 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
Link to readings – Click here
This Sunday’s readings invite us to think in terms of trust and faithfulness. They remind us to be patient.
Habbakuk (First Reading) feels the Lord isn’t listening when he asks why nothing is being done about the violence and outrage he sees. But the Lord reassures him that whatever the surrounding circumstances, the upright person will remain faithful, trusting in God.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches about faith and service when the apostles ask him, ‘Increase our faith!’ He moves them away from considering faith as a quantity, to putting into practice what faith they do have. Jesus uses the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the power of that faith. In the parable following, he then cautions the disciples about knowing one’s place in God’s plans, rather than having an attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’ Our relationship with God is to be one of total and unconditional love and service.
St Paul tells us that the gift of faith in Christ is the Spirit of power, love, and self-control. Armed with this Spirit, we are ‘never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord’, even if it means going against the tide, or enduring hardship. (Second Reading)
Let’s pray for a deepening of our own faith and trust in God, and for guidance to use our precious God-given gifts with a servant’s heart. (Andrew Hamilton SJ)
The Orewa set up formally happened on Friday 23rd Sptember and Lindsay Brand along with George and Judy Quinney the previous Saturday to support the two new couples who are going to share the Pasrish Coordinator role. These couple will bring much as one couple are Indian and the other Sri Lanka. We will learn much from them both. Incorporating other cultures and integrating what the do as family.We had a good turnout and response and as a result have compiled 4 groups.Its great to have some growth of Passionist Family Groups when some critics hink its had its day. We are still striving to support and care for one another and be a family. Thanks to Fr Raphael for his encouragement and positivity in initiating Passionist Family Groups in the Orewa/Manly parish.
The East Coast Bays relaunch was alst weekend 24/25 September. We had six enrolments handed in but there were around 30-40 taken so we will have to await to see what replies come in. I extend my thanks to Lindsay Brand and her team for the work they have put in to readying the parish for this occasion. Also, thanks to Fr Emile for his ongoing support.
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Paul Darbyshire (Linda and family)
- Gerard and Linda Daly – tragic loss of their son, Brett
- Boyd Dunlop (Judith and family)
- Paeroa PFG lost their dear friend and long time member Liz Taylor
- Wilma Schimanski and family
- Ross Darbyshire and family – Ross is improving.
- Julie Neve her two children, family and friends. – Julie is mending
- Please remember Carmel Cole who died last night – she and her late husband Don we long time benefactors of “The Fort” (Passionist Retreat in Brisbane)
- Remember Fr Ray Sanchez – for his kindness and his own health concerns
- Please remember her family and friends.
- Your own intentions
- “Did you hear the rumour about butter? Well, I’m not going to spread it!”
- “Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up by itself? It was two tired.”
- “What did one hat say to the other?” “Stay here! I’m going on ahead.”
- “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.”
“A Family for All”
Have a good week and thanks for all you do and continue to do!!