Morena – Passionist Family Group members and friends,
Well, only six weeks until Christmas and again I ask, where has this year gone? We are living in difficult times and there is much trouble brewing with Ukraine/Russian war continuing, the dramas and extremes associated with American politics, the global impact of the past three years with Covid and the food shortages etc etc…..our ecological diasters the list goes on and on.
So, we come back to our day to day trials – what encourages us? What creates hope? What brings love, joy and peace? What sort of things do I do to make this world a better place? Live in a better socially related neighnood? Yes, there has to be some action, some going out to others. It’s all a bit sad if we hide ourselves away each of us has gifts and talents that can create a better space around us.
When I was at the Uniting Church last Sunday I was quite touched by their community. So many involved and upfront about that many have covid and they knew who they were and some had been in contact. The outreach through their food for those with less was more than generous and then there was so much evidence of outreach and concern for the welfare of others. I saw the core of Passionist Family Groups in action, being a supporter and encourgaer for the wider community. Even their excitement with welcoming new people to their groups was evident and they were fully aware that to not reach out would mean, they decline.
It was a practical lesson from our fellow christians who have not chosen to isolate themselves or become comfortable with their own – cliques can create distance and isolate people further. People can experience, I’m either in or out. The early church was made of of households who took the message of Jesus seriously and listened to St Paul’s advice and witness. The Acts of the Apostles, tells us they went as a body to the temple, shared what they had in common, prayered and celebrated the Lord being present to them. How simple yet how profound.
We are all capable of living this way and to be open to the stranger and the person we don’t know in the pews. A simple positive note, comment, affirmation can go along way to helping people feel good about themselves and their life. Passionist Family Group’s won’t take away the struggles of human life but, with others, gives us strength to try and support, encourage and love, like Jesus. Our Family Groups are a way where we can all contribute to life of the wider community in terms, that they see in us, the God we talk about. So, this week lets keep moving forward with hope and strength, that God is with us. God go with you – enjoy the rest of the week.
Prayer and blessings,
Scripture reflection: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, (A message of hope for those who stay faithful to God’s love)
First reading: Malachi 3:19-20
Responsorial psalm: Ps 97(98):5-9
Second reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
Link to readings – click here
As we approach the end of the Church’s year, today’s readings lead us to think about the passage of time and the end of the world. Though outwardly daunting, they provide a message of hope for those who stay faithful to God’s love.
The prophet Malachi (First Reading) uses stark imagery to portray the fate of those who do not respect the Lord. But the ones who remain faithful to him will see the day that is coming as a time of joy and healing.
In the Gospel, Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, but tells us not to fear wars, persecution, and natural disasters. While these things may seem like the end, in fact they are not: he cautions us not to be deceived by those claiming that ‘the time has come’. Even when in difficulty, we are not to worry about what to say: the Spirit of Jesus will give us words and wisdom, as we bear witness to Christ. By staying secure in the love that God has for us, we will be held safe.
Paul presents himself as a model to the Thessalonian church (Second Reading), spreading the Good News and earning his keep. He stresses the importance of the whole community working for the good of all, rather than sitting around thinking about the future. The Psalmist is certain of the Lord’s coming, when justice will prevail. All creation is invited to join in the joyful proclamation of that coming.
I was in Otaki on Sunday October 30th to celebrate their 31st anniversary. Hard to believe I assisted in setting up PFG’s all those years ago. They are still going and have 5 groups – well done team. Good to have kevin Bryant Regional coordinator there supporting the parish. The day went well and still enthusoastic and slowly returning to normal. They are all still committed and working to keep their community supported.
Last weekend I was at the Uniting Church in Johnsonville for their service and lunch following. They are going so well and it is encouraging to here people saying that they are excited having new people in their groups. They have been going for 24 years. John and Kerry Kleinsman were there supporting them as per usual.
Next week I will be travelling to Auckland for Trustees of Passionist Family Groups meeting and welcome the new trustees John and Catherine Butchard. Lynn and Rob have stepped down after years of great support, leadership and vision for PFG’s in Aotearoa. Bless them as they enter a new phase as residents of a Retirement Village – from all reports they are settling in well. Hope to see them on Thursday when I pass through. Meeting with PP from Hastings on Thursday ad then onto hamilton ad Paeroa before hitting Auckland. Hope to catch the Orewa people this Sunday.
I am trying for a quieter week leading up to the Passionist Centenary Institute on 19/20 November.
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Aidan son of Josie and Pat McIntyre – he is very sick and his parents are his caregivers.
- Jenny Wullings – has an Op in January – in a lot of pain. John is supporting her.
- Paul Darbyshire (Linda and family) Paul has had operation, had a couple of hiccups but is improving all the time. Waiting for discharge which is very positive.
- Gerard and Linda Daly – tragic loss of their son, Brett Keep the family in your prayer.
- Boyd Dunlop (Judith and family) Boys is recovering very well.
- Paeroa PFG lost their dear friend and long time member Liz Taylor
- Wilma Schimanski and family
- Julie Neve her two children, family and friends. – Julie is mending
- Please remember Carmel Cole’s family– she and her late husband Don a long time benefactors of “The Fort” (Passionist Retreat in Brisbane)
- Remember Fr Ray Sanchez CP – for his health concerns
- Fr Gerard Ainsley
- Your own intentions
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 children
A priest, a lawyer and an engineer are to be guillotined.
The priest puts his head back on the block, the rope is pulled but nothing happens. He claims he has been saved by divine intervention and is released.
The lawyer puts his head on the block, but again, nothing happens, he claims he can’t be executed twice for the same crime and is set free.
The engineer places his head on the block under the guillotine. He looks up at the release mechanism and says. Wait a minute, I see where the problem it…
- Why did the Jedi cross the road?
To get to the dark side.
- What do you call a freshly fallen tree?
- Did you hear about the new Johnny Depp movie?
It’s rated “Arrrrrrr.”
- Which bear is the most condescending?
- What kind of noise does a witch’s vehicle make?
“A Family for All”