Well it is a big week with the Passionist Institute coming up there are details within this newsletter. If you are free I encourage you to join in what you can. It’s hard to believe the year is coming to a close as we start with Christ the King feats this weekend and then the four weeks of Advent before Christmas.
I always find this weekend’s gospel challenging but it also gets to the heart of what Matthew is on about in his gospel. There is a necessity to live by the laws as laid down by Moses (limit commands such as do this or do that..) but, these are trumped via the Beatitude’s. (These lead us and encourage us to do more). Therefore, it is a greater focus on how we are to each other rather, than external observances. It is so easy to get caught up in the trappings and fail to hear and see what Jesus asks of us. God is our centre, not us! Jesus always challenges us to go out and reach out.
The Gospel this week clears up what we are supposed to be doing and the call of discipleship underlines this. It’s about action. As Scripture scholar Michel Fallon MSC says, “Jesus shows us what God’s will is: to love, to serve, to show humble and prayerful respect to the outsider, the oppressed, the sinner, the outcast.” He reminds us that the Last Judgement has already come, it is here already, we do not have to wait for it. Therefore, messages of the last few weeks make sense…stay awaking, have your lamps lit and the oil containers full.
So often we tend to the externals with great pride and yet when we look around us our minds and hearts should be troubled with the violence, injustice, hatred and lack of care and concern for the little ones. Pope Francis despite the increasing opposition keeps his lamp lit and engages to ensure others will have enough oil for their journey – hope, love, and compassion.
It worries me that the simplicity of the gospel gets so complicated by honour, power and authority. Jesus never desired any of this and continually encouraged us to keep active in the service of others and being humble. Our Passionist Family Groups keep their hand on the plough keeping up connections with their fellow members and contributing to the life and heart of the parish. The longer I live the more I see the goodness of people even though around us is all this pain and suffering – we need to move out and not get caught up in the glitz and glamour of ‘having things’. To not be afraid of others as the saying goes ‘age is not
A license to a Gold card. Service is asked of everyone with no end, yes until we die and then that will be our final act of handing over or handing back to God. We can all contribute to the life, laughter and service of our communities.
When you visit people going through tough stuff you encounter people who want to be listened to, cared for, connected with and be humoured by the realism of relationship and friendship. That is what communities are about, bringing life, heart and compassion for all – no one should be excluded. Let’s make a difference and be the gift to others unpackaged, broken and loving. Have a great week – God go with you.
Scripture reflection: Feast of Christ the King Year A, 26 November 2023
Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.
First reading: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 22(23):1-3, 5-6
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Link to readings – click here
The scripture texts of this solemnity, on the last Sunday of the Church year, sum up what we have been reading, listening to, and pondering all year. We have watched as Jesus taught, healed, freed, consoled, and reached out to all. From birth to death, and in his glorified life, he was the visible presence of the Father’s kingdom of love on earth.
The Second Reading gives us a picture of Christ’s kingship. St Paul reassures the church at Corinth that, despite the direst of circumstances, all earthly rule and authority will give way to Christ. When God’s enemies, including sin and death, are destroyed, then all will be alive in God. How we need such a message in today’s world. The Psalm tells us that God, Shepherd and King, has such authority that we can safely feast, even within sight of our enemies. With him, we shall never be in want.
The First Reading, from the prophet Ezekiel, also contains the theme of shepherd. Though judge, the shepherd is one who serves. Jesus picks up this theme in the Gospel, but now he is found not only in the one who serves the poor, but also in the poor themselves. Both readings reveal a divine bias, if we can say such a thing – against those who would exploit, and for those who are exploited.
The response to Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!) is Que viva! (He lives!). Let’s pray that Christ the King will live in me; will live in my actions this coming week
Congratulations to Brian Traynor CP who celebrates 50th anniversary of Ordination on Friday November 24th
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.at Hamilton Cathedral.
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. They have two new groups and still people to contact and have placed others in the existing groups. Well done to the team.
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.
Anyone can be friends and learn another’s language
Passionist Institute 2023 Holy Spirit Province 2023 Zoom Institute: ‘Sailing together’
The theme of the 2023 Provincial Chapter was ’Setting the Sails’. We want to move forward now ’Sailing Together’ focusing on the message of inclusive community that is respectful of cultural diversity.
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.
God, compassionate and kind. You have called us to live as companions of the Crucified, for the crucified of the world. Call us again, to renew the memory of the Passion in our hearts, in our communities, among our companions and in our ministries.
In the richness of our diversity, may your Holy Spirit help us, to sail together as a family, listening sensitively to each other, and learning new ways, to bring others the consoling message of God’s overwhelming love, that we ourselves, find in Jesus Crucified and Risen.
Saturday November 25th: ‘Sailing together’
12.50pm- 4.45pm New Zealand
1.00pm: Welcome & Opening Prayer: Gerard Daly
1.10pm: Our 2023 Chapter….What it calls from us
(Denis Travers) 35mns
1.45pm: Chat room: (or local group sharing) 35mns
2.40pm: Reflections from younger professed CP’s
(Erick Niyiragira) 35mns
3.15pm: Chat room: (or local group sharing) 35mns
3.50pm: What our Companions think?….Jim Yeo
4.15pm: Chat room: (or local group sharing) 25mns
4.40pm: Closing Message (Gerard Daly)
4.45pm: Day One ends Drinks & BBQ ?
Sunday November 26th: ‘Sailing together’
3.25pm -7.30pm New Zealand
3.25pm: Log in
3.30pm: Welcome (Gerard Daly)
3.35pm: Prayer (Endeavour Hills Companions)
3.45pm: Community and Connecting in our times 35mns
4.20pm: Chat room:(or local group sharing) 30mns
5.15pm: Cultural challenges & learning 35mns
5.50pm: Chat room: (or local group sharing) 30mns
6.40pm: Video: Future directions: Random reflections
6.55pm: Ritual – (New Zealand Companions)
7.10pm: Farewell message (Gerard Daly)
Final blessing: (Cross & Passion sisters)
Passionist Institute Part 1:
Saturday Nov 25th: 10:00 AEST
Meeting ID: 869 1883 0664
Passionist Institute Part 2:
Sunday Nov 26th 13:00 AEST
Meeting ID: 841 6233 5210
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 and give example to children
WHO declares loneliness a ‘global public health concern’ by Sarah Johnson
The World Health Organization has launched an international commission on loneliness, which can be as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared loneliness to be a pressing global health threat, with the US surgeon general saying that its mortality effects are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
WHO has launched an international commission on the problem – led by the US surgeon general, Dr Vivek Murthy, and the African Union youth envoy, Chido Mpemba – of 11 advocates and government ministers, including Ralph Regenvanu, the minister of climate change adaptation in Vanuatu, and Ayuko Kato, the minister in charge of measures for loneliness and isolation in Japan.
It comes after the Covid-19 pandemic halted economic and social activity, increasing levels of loneliness, but also amid a new awareness of the importance of the issue. The WHO commission on social connection will run for three years.
“[Loneliness] transcends borders and is becoming a global public health concern affecting every facet of health, wellbeing and development,” said Mpemba. “Social isolation knows no age or boundaries.”
The health risks are as bad as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and even greater than those associated with obesity and physical inactivity, according to Murthy.
While loneliness is often seen as a problem for developed countries, Murthy said the rates of one in four older people experiencing social isolation are similar in all regions of the world.
In older adults, loneliness is associated with a 50% increased risk of developing dementia and a 30% increased risk of incident coronary artery disease or stroke.
But it also blights the lives of young people. Between 5% and 15% of adolescents are lonely, according to figures that are likely to be underestimates. In Africa, 12.7% adolescents experience loneliness compared to 5.3% in Europe.
Young people experiencing loneliness at school are more likely to drop out of university. It can also lead to poorer economic outcomes; feeling disconnected and unsupported in a job can lead to poorer job satisfaction and performance.
Mpemba said that across Africa, where most of the population is made up of young people, challenges around peace, security and the climate crisis, as well as high levels of unemployment, are contributing to social isolation. “We believe it’s important to redefine the narrative surrounding loneliness particularly for vulnerable populations excluded by the digital divide,” she said.
Murthy added: “These issues don’t affect one country … [Loneliness] is an underappreciated public health threat.”
These trends of ‘Lonliness’ are here in New Zealand and through Passionist Family Groups we could do more to extend our reach to those who are isolated. Let work together to explore way where we could move to a wider audience and support fellow New Zealanders of all races and creed.
Any ides or thought please send then to; Paul Traynor firstname.lastname@example.org
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Please keep Preston Epplett in your prayer and his family. Preston is due to have major back surgery on Dec 8 in Wellington Hospital.
- We pray for a quick recover for Sarah Peacock who had a fall and broke bones and lef to a hip replacement . She has been support by husband John and their PFG
- Please keep Debbi Davidson’s husband Bryan in your prayer after Debbi died on 1st November. Also, 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 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 along with his wife Anne and family
- Please keep in your prayers those who continue to deal with the after effects of droughts on the horn of Africa. Also weather effects on other countries across the planet
- 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 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
Pun-based dad jokes
- Did you hear about the cold dinner? It was chili.
- Why did the deer go to the dentist? It had buck teeth.
- Why can’t you trust a balloon? It’s full of hot air
- A cheese factory exploded in France. Da brie is everywhere!
- Not sure if you have noticed, but I love bad puns. That’s just how eye roll.
- Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because it wasn’t peeling well.
- Where does a sheep go to get a haircut? The baa baa shop.
- What did the mama cow say to the baby cow? It’s pasture bed time.
- Why should you never use a dull pencil? Because it’s pointless.
- Why did the cookie go to the doctor? It was feeling crumby.
- Where did the cat go after losing its tail? The retail store.
- Why don’t eggs tell jokes? They’d crack each other up.
- What kind of sandals do frogs wear? Open-toad.
- What do you call a herd of sheep falling down a hill? A lambslide.
- How do you organize a space party? You planet.
- How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh? Ten tickles.