3rd Sunday of Advent – December 17, 2017

WHO ARE YOU? I’ve heard that lawyers never ask a question unless they already know the answer. I don’t know if that’s entirely true, however I do know that lawyers in television courtrooms have a reputation for asking questions in a way that makes an honest answer seem to say something that isn’t true. When you know the whole story, you want to explain it a little so that the answer doesn’t sound so dishonest. That’s the problem with yes-or-no questions, especially in complicated circumstances. Simple answers don’t necessarily shed light on difficult problems. John seems to be playing “plenty
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2nd Sunday of Advent -December 10th, 2017

A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS I made an exciting discovery this week as I prepared this second Sunday of Advent reflection. I called it an ‘Aha’ moment. For instance, is it not striking how Mark begins his Gospel? There is no angel Gabriel, no Mary and Joseph, no shepherds or chorus of heavenly angels, no overwhelmed innkeeper turning away the holy family, as we have in Luke’s Gospel. There’s no Joseph getting messages from God in his dreams, and no wise ones from the East following a star, like we have in Matthew. There’s none of the soaring language of
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Sunday 3rd December 2017

STAY AWAKE! Last week our Universal Church celebrated the Feast of Christ, King of the Universe. It was the final Sunday in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. Thanks to all who came to the parish ‘End of the Year Mass’. The Mass was a moving experience for me, especially when I saw faces of parishioners coming from four parish communities, supporting the ‘ONE JOURNEY, ONE PARISH, ONE MASS’. This further strengthened us, and ‘Yes’ we are actually belonging to one parish, the Parish of the Holy Spirit (Te Wairua Tapu). This week we enter Advent, a season of possibilities, a time
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Sunday 19th November 2017

The World Day of the Poor – to help us… “become aware of the situations of poverty in our own towns and cities.” The run-up to the recent General Election brought an acknowledgement, from the political parties, of the dire child poverty there is throughout New Zealand. We didn’t need to be told about it, and for over 20 years New Zealanders, with their usual generosity have been supporting Food Banks, and giving financial support to the various charities and organisations which work for children, people in need, and those in desperate circumstances. In this Day of the Poor, Pope Francis
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Sunday November 12, 2017

“In the light of the Word of God” The Mass we celebrate every Sunday consists in two parts: what we call the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. While the Liturgy of the Word begins with an act of preparation and concludes with the Creed and the Intercessions, its essential element is the three Readings taken from the Bible. Of those three Readings, the Gospel is the most important, and over a three year period all four Gospels are read. The first Reading, nearly always taken from the Old Testament, has been chosen because its content
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Sunday 5th November 2017

“At Mass last Sunday we had something called Lectio Divina…” At all our parish Masses last Sunday we experienced Lectio Divina – a form of prayerfully reading God’s word. At each of the Masses, which I celebrated, there was a noticeable silence in the Church and at the end, a sense of stillness and quiet. After the Masses, quite a number of people made encouraging and positive comments. From the earliest times in the Church, and through the centuries, Lectio Divina has been used as a form of contemplative prayer. Many religious sisters and brothers, and many priests and laity
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Sunday October 29th, 2017

THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS Jesus tells us that the whole of religion can be summed up in two great commandments of love of God and love of neighbour. An old man was sitting on a bench at the edge of town when a stranger approached. “What are the people in this town like?” the stranger asked. “What were they like in your last town?” replied the old man. “They were kind, generous and would do anything for you if you were in trouble”. “Well, I think you will find them much the same in this town”. Sometime later a second
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Sunday October 22, 2017

MISSION SUNDAY I hope we can all feel the energy and passion coming from today’s Second Reading? The church’s early missionaries – Paul, Silvanus and Timothy are writing to the church in Thessalonika with great words of encouragement and hope, complimenting them on their faith and perseverance. They are reminded of God’s love for them. It is very apt today as we celebrate Mission Sunday and reflect on the church’s mission to spread the Good News. As followers of Christ we are tasked with passing on the message of his love. It is a day for thinking about the faith
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Sunday, 15th October 2017

“THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT MASTER WITH THE HELP OF THE ONE WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.” St Paul to the Philippians – Chapter 4: Verse 13 Those words of St Paul speak very forcefully to me, as they did to the people of Philippi of old, and to all who contemplate them today. Paul can do all things in the strength given by God. Living the Gospel is always a challenge and we need the Lord’s help if we are to succeed. The work of bearing witness to the Good News is not something that the Lord has left to
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Sunday October 8th, 2017

GOD CREATED THE WORLD OUT OF SELF-LESS LOVE All the readings of this Sunday share a common image found in the scriptures – that of the vineyard. They are one in their challenge and encouragement for us to live a life worthy of the Gospel. We are challenged to go forth and bear good fruit. Today’s readings are a love story of God for all peoples. God created the world out of self-less love. God creates it for us to enjoy and to be faithful stewards of his creation. I’ve chosen to put the following beautiful words by Blessed John
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