Cardinal John’s Newsletter 12 March 2020

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Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

“To be a missionary disciple means to have had an encounter with MERCY and to lead others to it.” (Pope Francis)

Recently I read a book entitled “Tattoos of the Heart”. It is a book written by a Jesuit priest in the United States who for many years worked with drug addicts, street kids, gang members, the poor and the struggling. I found it a wonderful book with some incredible stories of love and forgiveness, stories of seeing the best in people who would often be ignored by society. One story was of a young man who had been in and out of prison, he had no confidence in himself, no self-esteem at all and thought of himself as worthless. One day a woman who was working with Fr Greg told the young man she had found a job for him, she welcomed him and treated him as he had never been welcomed or accepted before. He asked Fr Greg why she was doing this. His answer was “because she saw you as somebody, she recognized you as the shape of God’s heart.” His life was never the same again. Someone recognised him as the shape of God’s heart.

Over these next two weekends as we celebrate MISSION EXPOs at Viard College this Saturday and at Garin College next Saturday we are trying to put the Mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, at the very centre of who we are. The mission of Jesus was to give others the chance to encounter the mercy of God, and then to lead others to experience that same mercy.

Mission Expo will display the many many efforts all around the Archdiocese that help and enable people to encounter God’s mercy. It is to give thanks for the many wonderful things that are happening and to help every one of us to reflect that through our Baptism we too do not just have a mission, but in the words of Pope Francs “I am a Mission.”, and celebrate that fact.

When we see every other person as having “the shape of God’s heart” we are living our mission.

With every blessing
Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here