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Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish
Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington
Holy Week & Easter Timetable 2017
Sunday 9th April Palm Sunday
5:30pm Saturday Vigil
10:00am Sunday – Combined Sacred Heart & St Mary of the Angels
(One Morning Mass Only)
Monday 10th April Holy Week
8:00am & 12:10pm
Reconciliation: 11:45am – 12:05pm
Tuesday 11th April
7:30pm CHRISM MASS (No 12:10pm Mass)
Wednesday 12th April
Mass: 8:00am & 12:10pm
Reconciliation: 11:45am – 12.05pm & 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Thursday 13th April
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7:30pm – Combined Sacred Heart & St Mary of the Angels
At: St Mary of the Angels Church, Boulcott Street.
(No Masses in the Cathedral on this day)
Friday 14th April Good Friday
Stations of the Cross: 10:00am
Reconciliation: 10:45am – 12noon
Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion: 3:00pm
Saturday 15th April
Reconciliation: 11am – 12noon
Easter Vigil & Mass of the Resurrection: 7:30pm
(No 8.30am Mass)
Sunday 16th April Easter Sunday
Mass of the Resurrection 8:00am & 10:30am
(No 7.00pm Mass)
Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th April
Mass: 8:30am (No 12:10pm Mass)
The Man Born Blind
The Season of Lent really has two motifs running through it. It a time of preparation for
Holy Week, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. But it was (and still is) the time when the catechumens (those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) received their final instructions. They did not stay for the Eucharist. Instead, after the scripture readings, they left the Church and were instructed in their meaning.
So the readings during Lent were chosen with great care. They always included three scriptures from John’s gospel – the Samaritan Woman, the Man Born Blind, and the Raising of Lazarus. At first sight, these scriptures do not sound especially appropriate for Lent, but they had deep meanings and were used repeatedly to point out what was happening in the lives of the catechumens and the people generally. They are always used in Year A (this year), and can be substituted for the Year B and Year C scriptures, especially when there are catechumens present.
So today, the Man Born Blind. The blind man “sees” more and more clearly as his interrogation goes on. After the healing but before the interrogation he had “no idea,” but after a long dispute, he says that Jesus is “a prophet.” After more challenge, he proclaims further that Jesus is “from God.” Finally, after the man’s acknowledgment of ignorance (or blindness) and Jesus’ personal teaching, he confesses, “I do believe, Lord.”
On the opposite side are the sighted, not only physically but also figuratively because they are knowledgeable concerning the teaching of Moses and the Church. At first, they see the miracle, but question the authority. Then they question whether the man was blind at all. They concluded finally that the man is a sinner and excommunicated him (and Jesus along with him). Their blindness is thus complete. This light / darkness theme is so much part of John’s gospel. The catechumens and ourselves, are left with a stark choice. Are we progressing into the light, or are we still in darkness?
Some points for reflection may be:
- Do I realise my blindness and ask for sight? Does the Lord heal me? Talk to Jesus in prayer about this.
- Do I, at other times, become so proud of my knowledge and self-sufficiency that I become blinded? How do I do that? How can I change? Talk to Jesus about this.
- What work or phrase particularly appealed to me. Why?
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The last two Saturdays have been spent in two different parishes, Ohariu and Marlborough. Along with other diocesan staff I have been in those parishes for Stewardship Workshops. They were both very well attended and there was wonderful participation by those present. Both times we have used the Gospel for the Sunday, one week the Transfiguration and then last Sunday’s Gospel story of the Woman at the Well. Using those Lenten Gospels started me thinking about other parts of the Gospel and Stewardship, and particularly about Lent and the lead up to Easter.
In trying to understand the true power of Stewardship I don’t think we need to look any further than the cross. The cross serves as a powerful example of giving everything away freely for God and for the people of God. The example of course is Jesus, Jesus who an-swered the call, regardless of the cost, the cost being life itself.
Most of us will never have to sacrifice our lives in response to God’s call. There are however Christians all around the world who do that every day. Missionaries in many places have faced violence and lost their lives, or have succumbed to fatal diseases. People standing up for the basic rights of others have lost their own right to live. Men and women who have sworn to keep the peace or to rescue others from disasters have given up time with family and friends for the sake of the vulnerable. Everywhere there are people who respond to the call of God with courage and commitment.
Our sacrifice may not be as great, but it does not diminish the power of our response. Maybe through our small everyday actions, God will touch someone else and their life will be transformed. It is not the size of the sacrifice that counts but the complete willingness to give that sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for the salvation of all humanity. What we are asked to do is to translate that reality into our own somewhat simple lives.
On those days when being a good steward seems too difficult, we look to the cross and find strength in a God who knows how hard life can be at times. We also look to fellow stewards and find empa-thy and companionship. We reflect on the lives of the saints and those who gave their lives because of their love for God. We give thanks and go out to the world around us which needs the presence of Jesus – and we acknowledge how hard the day would be without him.
With every blessing.