Morena/ Good Morning Passionist Family Group members and friends,
This is a special time on our church and faith calendar. The Easter Triduum where we remember and commemorate the themes associated with Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday. These are moments where we are given sustenance through the Eucharist but more the importance of remembering a theme so well understood in Judaism. I still not sure that we do so much of that ‘remembering’ let alone ‘memorial’ – yet to understand the mission of Jesus we need to nurture these themes so we can more fully understand why this meal with Jesus speaks so powerfully.
Then, ‘the Garden’ a place of abandonment, of feeling alone yet crying out to God. This gives example to the cost of loving that we when faced with turmoil, end of life concerns, feeling we have done what we can and trying to let go – we reach out in anguish and cry out – to God. The decision to follow his path lead him to know that the Cross is imminent – so it’s not surprising when he says, “If this cup can pass me by let it be your will not mine”. What faith and humility.
Humiliated by being arrested on trumped up charges, seeing the hatred and anger around him and the being betrayed there is real emptiness in this journey to the cross. So, the charges are read, the lies told the holding onto power and prestige by those threatened by Jesus’ message and now he is alone. Facing the violence and human inability to be just. Something continues in and through Jesus – this holding to faith and belief that God will be there. He falls to silence, he doesn’t lash out he humbly walks ‘the way’. H is jeered, spat upon and other cry out to him and in and through his compassion he reach out to them.
At the Cross this faith is lived and tested – he forgives the good thief. Compassion the mark of the Christian. His death is a completion of faith “It is finished’. His mother witnesses this torturous death and in John’s gospel he put her safety with John and John with her. What an incredible act of love and service. We should feel loss and grief as the disciples did – so much hope and it is dashed. They withdraw into the company of one another and grieve but also afraid of what might happen to them – after all they were followers of Jesus.
Easter Sunday, the women arrive at the tomb – significant that it the women – the nurturers who brave the early hours and find that what he said would happen has – it is an encounter that shapes the heart with hope build on love and faith. This Jesus is witnessed as ‘living’ and then the journey is of them going to the disciples to let them know that “Jesus, is Alive. A reminder og what the Poet Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked”.
So, here we are over two thousand years latter commemorating this life and death of Jesus and that he is present to us and we too can engage with him through the belief that Jesus is alive. Over this Easter period pick up your bible and read from the last Supper to Easter Sunday. Feel it, live it and breathe it.
We are here in our Passionist Family Groups and it behoves us to commemorate these days with the reflection of how can we live out this Passion in our lives and with and through our Family Group. How do we build a community that can be for others and bring people home to themselves and our community.
“May the Passion of Jesus be always on our minds and in our hearts” St Paul of the Cross (Founder of the Passionists)
Ng Mihi, Paul
Scripture reflection: Easter Sunday, 9 April 2023.
O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life.
First reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 117(118):1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second reading: Colossians 3:1-4
Gospel: John 20:1-9
Link to readings – click here
I have journeyed with Jesus through the sorrow of Holy Week, in whatever way was possible for me. Now I pray for the grace to know gladness, and the glory and joy of my Risen Lord in this Easter season. The Easter readings tell of the ways in which the first disciples came to realise the power of Jesus’s resurrection.
Peter (First Reading) gives personal witness to Cornelius of the life and death of Jesus; he has eaten with him after his resurrection! Peter proclaims that the forgiveness of the Risen Jesus is for all. In the Second Reading, Paul stresses that to live the life of a believer is to try to be free from sin, to live in sincerity and truth.
The Psalm celebrates the triumph of God over death in a love that has no end. We rejoice and are glad! This week, then, we might want to pray for our world where such love is much needed. How might I bring the joy I find in God to others?
The Gospel tells the story of Mary, who goes to the tomb but finds it empty; she runs to the disciples to report her loss. Peter and John race to see for themselves. Finally they begin to understand the meaning of Jesus’s words about ‘rising from the dead’.
The Seven Last Words’
This beautiful and powerful reflection was created by Sr Brigid Murphy CP and illustrated and music added by Sr Karen Engelbretsen CP. Take time to reflect and listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07nSsA5gtFw
Being an ‘apostle ‘
During his general audience in St Peter’s Square on March 14th, Pope Francis explained that apostleship as understood by the Second Vatican Council produces an equality – rooted in service – among laypeople, consecrated religious, priests and bishops. “Who has more dignity in the Church? The bishop? The priest? No, we are all Christians at the service of others,” he said. “We are all the same, and when one part (of the Church) thinks it is more important than the others and turns its nose up (at them), they are mistaken.”
Vatican II, the Pope said, did not focus on the laity’s relationship with the Church’s hierarchy as a “strategic” move to adapt to the times, but as “something more that transcends the events of that time and retains its value for us today”. The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity states that collaboration between the hierarchy and the laity is essential for the Church to fully live out its mission.
Viewing Christian life as a chain of authority “where the person on top commands the rest because they were able to climb up (the ladder)” is “pure paganism”, the Pope said. Reflecting on the passage from Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus sends out 72 apostles ahead of him two-by-two, Pope Francis said that service is the vocation Jesus gives to all, including “to those that seem to be in more important positions”. “Listening, humbling yourself, being at the service of others: this is serving, this is being Christian, this is being an apostle,” he said.
The Pope encouraged Christians to pray for members of the Church’s hierarchy
Nga Mihi – prayer and blessings
“Parishes should be close-knit communities, without bureaucracy, people-centered – a place where the gift of the sacraments can be found.
They have to become, once again, schools of service and generosity, with their doors always open to those who are excluded.” – Pope Francis – February 2023.
Update: See Paeroa Invite attached
This week,. At home this past and again next week. Had a good catch up on Tuesday with Parish Coordinator Teresa Homan in Upper Hutt. Some positive developments from our meeting. It has been good to be able to work from home and get some administration and planning done.
Also, as advised previously in May this year we celebrate 50 years of Passionist Family Groups in Terrey Hills, Sydney. I will be attending this event representing PFG in Aotearoa. We have advised that we want Passionist Family Groups 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.
Just click on ‘Open Link’ at the end of the link below the image or paste the link into: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K-pf0TCVvI
Also, I wish to advise that on June 10, 2023 we celebrate 35 years of Passionist Family Groups in Paeroa 6pm Eucharist followed by Pot Luck dinner 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.