Morena/ Good morning, Passionist Family Group members and friends,
What another week it has been for Northland, Coromandel, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay with a huge deluge of rain soaking an already soaked landscape. How quickly have the criticisms of not enough done and progress being too slow. It is difficult in an age where we press a button and things happen. Yet, without power our lives change and we feel the vulnerability of just surviving and the grief and loss associated with losing precious things and memories.
These recent events across Aotearoa have seen what some would say is the essential learning, ‘the ability to dig in’. That is, when we see the value of community; the great spirit and generosity of coming together for a purpose and not judging. Rather, to pitch in, assist and help out anyone in need. These moments breed encouragement, hope, resilience and form a bond of appreciation and thankfulness.
I have been heartened by the example of so many Kiwi’s from all nationalities and cultures who have just rolled up their sleeves to help their friends, neighbours and strangers. What a testament to humanity that while war if raging in other places here in New Zealand and also let us not forget Turkey and Syria, countless people are doing what needs to be done to help others out in tragedy.
These times remind us of how powerful compassion, generosity of spirit and being neighbourly can bring out the best in each of us. Similarly, our Passionist Family Groups are a way to support, encourage and stand with others in the everyday muck of life. We can connect with people bringing this same brotherhood and sisterhood to each other’s lives. To see that faith without good works is useless (St James). It is our service to others that extols the gospel in real time. That we put the belief of ‘God with us’ into words and deeds so, others may be lifted up.
This Lent is a time of renewal to re-set our goals and values on the words, deeds and actions of Jesus. To be transformed so others can find a way ‘home’ to be in a community of people seeking to be a the best for each other. May these recent events be a classroom of hope where we can learn how to be better members of our Family Group and raise hope and encouragement for our community.
Have a good week – God go with you,
Scripture reflection: Second Sunday of Lent Year A, 5 March 2023.
God has saved us by his own grace
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory.
First reading: Genesis 12:1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 32(33):4-5, 18-20, 22
Second reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
Link to readings – click here
Today’s readings encourage us to think about our journey of faith in the company of the transfigured Lord, and the importance of trusting in the call and grace of God our Father.
The First Reading tells of God’s astonishing call to Abram to abandon his land, his family and his nation, and Abram’s generous response. With divine blessing and guidance, Abram (who becomes Abraham) finds a new home and a new life, serving as an example to us all.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul makes it clear that we are called to holiness: a holiness not of our own making, but of God. Like Timothy, we are reminded that we are not alone. We are invited to rely on the divine power and grace revealed by the life and death of Christ Jesus. Like Abraham, we, too, must learn to live by trusting in God’s grace and his calling of us. (Second Reading)
Trust in God the Father is exemplified above all in the life of Jesus. Today’s Gospel shows him transfigured on the mountain top, radiant with divine light. The Father proclaims Jesus as his Beloved Son, and adds the all-important invitation: ‘Listen to him’. The Psalm meditates on the creative power of the Lord, encouraging us to put our trust in the One who fills the earth with his love.
This week, we may like to pray for a deepening personal relationship with Christ Jesus. We ask to listen to his voice, to hear his call to personal ministry, and to feel his touch in our daily lives. We also continue to pray for peace in our troubled world.
Next week, I have a series of meeting with parish groups in Te Awamutu, Waihi/Waihi Beach, Cambridge and then a weekend catching up and having some down time with Clare’s family.
Also, as advised previously in May this year we celebrate 50 years of Passionist Family Groups in Terrey Hills, Sydney. I plan to attend this event representing PFG in Aotearoa. We have advised that we want Passionist Family Group to have a get together near this time of May 7 to celebrate this great milestone. This will give us an opportunity to connect with Passionist Family Group members all over the Aotearoa/new Zealand.
Also, I need to advise that on June 10, 2023 we celebrate 35 years of Passionist Family Groups in Paeroa and on June 17 we celebrate 35 years for East Coast Bays. We believe this is a significant milestone that we commit to celebrating in June. My brother, Fr Brian Traynor has been invited out for these celebrations. He was there to begin these parishes 35 years ago along with Lynn and Rob Hill and many others who will be invited to join in on these celebrations.
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
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Please keep in your prayers the people from Auckland, Northland and Coromandel Hawkes Bay, Gisborne who are dealing with the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.
- Keep in prayer the people of Turkey and Syria and all who are assisting and supporting their efforts in dealing with the aftermath of earthquakes.
- Remember Passionist Fr Chris Mithen and Fr Brian Glesson both are currently in hospital
- Please pray for Dot and Neill Wilson (Invercargill) – their son-in-law Mark married to Dot’s daughter Anita has been diagnosed with aggressive brain tumour, Please keep in mind their daughter Bailey and son Taylor.
- Keep in your prayer Anne & Peter Green who have lost another daughter recently in the UK. Our hearts go out to them.
- Remember Pat and Rod Carson
- Remember a friend whose sister’s son is awaiting trial.
- Aidan son of Josie and Phil McIntyre – he is very sick and his parents are his caregivers.
- John Arthurs – brother of Bob. We remember John’s wife Valerie and Bob & Pamela’s family
- Jenny Wullings – who is now recovering positively from her back operation
- Paul Darbyshire (Linda and family)
- Gerard and Linda Daly – tragic loss of their son, Brett. Keep the family in your prayer.
- Boyd Dunlop (Judith and family) Boyds is recovering very well.
- Remember Fr Ray Sanchez CP – for his health concerns
- Fr Gerard Aynsley
- Your own intentions
Some Funny Covid jokes:
- If I keep stress-eating at this level, the buttons on my shirt will start socially distancing from each other.
- Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pyjamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
- Yesterday I ran out of soap and body wash and all I could find was dish detergent. Then it Dawned on me.
- Being quarantined with a talkative child is like having an insane parrot glued to your shoulder.
- I never thought the comment “I wouldn’t touch them with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!
- The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.
- Since we’re all in quarantine I guess we’ll be making only inside jokes from now on.
- I’m not talking to myself, I’m having a parent-teacher conference.
- This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog — we laughed a lot.
- Nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day of being tense on the couch.
- Pollen still coming out during a global pandemic? Read the room!
- Knock-knock! Who is there? Seriously, don’t touch my door and step back 6 feet.
- Day 121 at home and the dog is looking at me like, “See? This is why I chew the furniture!”