The readings this Sunday direct our attention to forgiveness and to not get caught up in hatred and revenge. Rather, be compassionate and understanding of others and their plight. Rather than judging, reach out and look for the positive and offer the wreath of peace and forgiveness. We are to utilise our gifts and talents for the betterment of ourselves, others, and our community. It’s a world where you, yourself, have to change first.
And how will you have to change?
Well, you have to learn to forgive, you have to learn to care, you have to learn that strangers are no longer strangers, you have to learn that they are your brothers and sisters. You have to learn that you will only learn through pain and suffering.
We are to walk the walk of every human being. It’s a mixture of joy and happiness, but also, do not run away from the pain, for the pain is where you’re going to learn what it means to love. As Kahlil Gibran wrote in his book called the Prophet “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked”. You cannot love without pain, no matter how you try to surround it, no matter how you try to capture it.
We are expected to go out to the lost, the lonely, the stranger, the refugees, the one who thinks differently and the one who appears different. It is about welcoming people and yes, from other cultures. That is what we do through Passionist Family Groups to build relationships with anyone who wishes to join us. We need to welcome people – invite them and get to know them.
How liberating it will be for us; in our Passionist Family Groups to see what love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance can do for people. Love can transform people and that is our charge – transform our community into one that is full of spirit and truth – full of loving acceptance and a walking with people. Let’s keep looking out for one another. And keep building to be ‘A Family For All’.
Last week in Waihi/KatiKati/Whangamata went well – grateful for the work Therese van Loon does, as well as Kevin Barber. I am away down in South Christchurch, then Ashburton on the weekend and then taking an American Passionist who just finished two terms as Provincial for a tiki tour: Tekapo – Queenstown – Milford Sound -TeAnau and then back to Queenstown – flying home on September 21st. I reluctantly agreed to this…
Have a good week – God go with you.
Scripture reflection: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, 17 September 2023. The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy
Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the working of your mercy, grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
First reading: Ecclesiasticus 27:30-28:7
Responsorial psalm: Ps 102(103):1-4, 9-12
Second reading: Romans 14:7-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Link to readings – click here
The readings for this Sunday remind us again of God’s boundless love and compassion. God’s unconditional love for us, and the sacrifice of Jesus’s death, mean there is no limit to the mercy we receive; nor can there be to the compassion and forgiveness we show to others.
The First Reading from Ecclesiasticus exhorts us to avoid resentment, anger and hatred, and live by God’s commandments. Showing true forgiveness and having compassion for others, whatever the hurt we have experienced ourselves, will set us free. The Psalm is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. We are reminded that we are not treated according to our sins: we receive the unimaginable depth and breadth of God’s love and forgiveness.
In the Second Reading, St Paul teaches the Romans how the life we live influences those around us. We belong to Christ, Lord of the dead and the living, and it is through the way we live and die that we lead others to him. The Gospel parable of the merciful king and his unforgiving servant reiterates the key message that we must love and forgive others because of the love and compassion God has shown us, in spite of the depth of our sins.
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 David Victoria and baby in your prayers Still a watch and wait exercise.
- Please keep a friend in mind who is in very early stages of pregnancy but has had a few miscarriages so, things are touch and go.
- Please keep Robert van de Pas in your prayers – he continues to struggle with pain etc from Chronic Pancreatitis.
- Keep in mind all those who are struggling with various aspects of mental health.
- Please keep Richard and Sue Gibbs in your prayers -He has been up and down and in and out of hospital. Very unwell but they still cannot work out what is going on. Tough on them both.
- Please keep Debbie and her husband Bryan in your prayer. Deb is battling with thyroid cancer she is undergoing Radiation treatment
- Please keep Bernie Metcalfe and family in your prayers
- Please keep in mind Merrilyn Barron who is still unwell
- Please remember Martin van der Wetering in your prayers as his health still is causing his grief and discomfort.
- Please remember Phil Drew a former Passionist who has had a massive stroke. Please remember his wife Anne and family
- Please keep in your prayers those who continue to deal with the after effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and other weather events.
- Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
- Please keep Somalia and the surrounding countries dealing with their sixth year in a row of drought.
- Please keep Nick and Leah and daughter Heidi Darbyshire along with Paul and Linda in your thoughts and prayer.
- 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.
- Remember Pat and Rod Carson
- Aidan son of Josie and Phil McIntyre –his parents are his caregivers.
- Your own intentions
Knock Knock Joke #1
Europe early this morning.
Knock Knock Joke #2
Cows go who?
Cows go moo!
Knock Knock Joke #3
Adore is between you and me, so please open up!
Knock Knock Joke #4
No thanks, but I’d love some peanuts!
Knock Knock Joke #5
Little old lady.
Little old lady who?
Wow, I didn’t know you could yodel
Knock Knock Joke #6
Mikey doesn’t fit in the keyhole!
Knock Knock Joke #7
Actually, it’s kangaroo.