ahiahi pai/ Good afternoon,
Another week passes and we move closer to the Advent time. It’s OK as we still have a couple of weekends to go before that reality comes. I had a busy time in Hamilton and then on Tuesday I went to the funeral service of a friend and realised that it was only three months ago when I visited her to find out her thyroid cancer was terminal. Like the family we all thought we had more time.
Debbi even said to me God’s not ready for me and neither am I. Then, a few short weeks later I rang her husband who told me she won’t last the week and sadly, he was right. But what a great person and what a blessing she was and is on her husband Bryan and their children, Daniel, Anthony, and Samantha, their spouses and children. (the grandies – eight in all)
The service was full of beautiful music and warmth and Bryan’s eulogy captured the love of his life, the kindness, no nonsense tenacity and straight-forwardness of a woman who cared about others. Likewise, her humour and fun loving self who loved discovering with Bryan new place and people. They brought much to the Passionist Family Group Movement.
Like our readings this Sunday we have to be ever watchful and ready. The promises of Jesus come to us daily and the hope we have is that we share this in faith, love, and service with others. Jesus wants us to be lights in the darkness showing the way for others. So, like the wise virgins who kept their lamps at the ready so to must we be ready (our hearts) and then, like the oil of love, compassion, forgiveness this gets us to the place where we can serve and bring Jesus to others.
As we enter the road let us see waiting, preparation, hoping and love all are the conditions of the Advent time. So, let us stay awake to Jesus and his message of love and share it through hospitality with others.
Have a good week – God go with you,
Love and blessings,
Scripture reflection: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, 12 November 2023.
You can look and then look again but the reality will be – He is here!
Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours.
First reading: Wisdom 6:12-16
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 62(63):2-8
Second reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Link to readings – click here
Running throughout the readings this Sunday are themes of longing, seeking, and purposeful attentiveness. We are encouraged to remain alert to the presence of the Lord, who comes to us in every moment, and to be ready to welcome his second coming.
The First Reading describes how the spirit of Wisdom is eager to enter into our lives. She is always close by, sitting at our gates, waiting for us to greet her, so that she may richly bless our lives. Today’s Psalm is a joyful prayer of desire for the Lord. The love of the Lord is better than life itself, and those who seek the Lord will be filled forever, as with a banquet. In the Second Reading, the Christian community is reassured that our hope in the resurrection is not in vain. The longing and desire that we feel for God will be fulfilled both in life and in death.
Jesus uses a cautionary yet humorous parable to stress the importance of remaining prepared and hopeful for the coming of the Lord into our lives (Gospel). We are all invited to the banquet of the Lord, and yet we can become complacent about the abundant richness that our faith can bring. God is here with us now, but sometimes we may not be ready or do not have the light to see his presence amongst us.
This week, let us pray for a spirit of hopeful, joyful longing for the Lord, so that we may be fully ready to greet him when he comes into our life.
Update: A reminder that the Passionist Institute will be held on the weekend of 25th-26th November 2023. You are welcome to join via Zoom or personally. You will need to RSVP. I was asked recently to write a short blurb about the application of the Institute and Passionist Family Groups.
Re the Institute: There are two attachments 1. is just a notification about the dates and that it is on. 2. Is the timetable and what people can expect to be covered over the two days. The timetable lets you know who is speaking and what on with some chat rooms. Obviously, for Kiwis this will be over Zoom.
The Institute is an opportunity for people in Passionist Family Groups to delve a bit deeper into the ‘Passionist Charism’ and grow in understanding of Passionist Spirituality. Like all Passionist input it is put across in an informative and down to earth way. In Family Groups there are still many who know little about the Passionists spirituality and these occasions such as the Passionist Institute and through Passionist Companions is a way to support, encourage and grow in understanding of who and what Passionists are and how we can see ourselves as an important part of the ‘Passionist Family’.
There is nothing to be frightened of joining into what sessions you would like or better still get a group together and watch the talks and then have some time discussing the themes. If something strikes you then let me know and we can follow up or we can perhaps run a regional session to further develop understanding.
Congratulations on the appointment of Bishop-elect Richard Laurenson for the Diocese of Hamilton. He is expected to be ordained as Bishop on December 8th.
Please keep Hamilton Cathedral/St Matthew’s in your prayer last weekend at the relaunch we had 31 new enrolments for Passionist Family Groups. In the next week they will be all contacted and then a meeting to announce the new groups and where extras will be placed.
I will be away on a short holiday in Australia with Clare from 25th November return on 4th December. So, there will be no newsletter for the first weekend in December.
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 Debbi Davidson’s husband Bryan in your prayer after Debbi died on 1st November. Another saint enters the kingdom.. please keep the children and grandchildren and friends in your thoughts and prayer.
- Please keep Charlie and Maggi in your thoughts and prayer as they support their daughter and partner
- Please keep Anja van de Wettering in your prayers as she has shared she is expecting.
- Please keep David Victoria and baby in your prayers. There has been some positive progress and it now looks as if this baby will make it to full term. Vicky is 6 months pregnant. Still wait and see.
- 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 is showing good signs of improvement
- Please keep in mind a son of a friend of mine who has just been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Please keep Bernie Metcalfe and family in your prayers
- Please keep in mind Merrilyn Barron who is still unwell Awaiting results from MRI and to see a specialist.
- Please remember Martin van der Wetering in your prayers as his health still is causing him 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.
- Please keep Bob Buckley in your prayers-
- Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
- Keep people in Gaza and Israel in your prayer – these acts from both sides have had a horrible effect on the innocent as always.
- 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
- Why did the employee get fired from the keyboard factory? He wasn’t putting in enough shifts.
- Did you hear about the man who cut off his left leg? He’s all right now.
- Did you hear the one about the claustrophobic astronaut? He just needed a little space.
- What kind of music should you listen to while fishing? Something catchy!
- What do you call a girl in the middle of a tennis court? Annette.
- What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing. It just waved.
- What did one wall say to the other? I’ll meet you at the corner.
- Why did the nose feel sad? It was always getting picked on.