Tag Archives: Cathedral

The Cathedral Connection 21 April 2019

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Easter Sunday

It took time for those who first experienced the presence of the Risen Jesus among them to find the words to describe it – and even the faith to recognise him. They felt fear and incredulity before recognition fully dawned, the light became stronger and the sunrise of recognition broke over them. It is the same for us.

There are many things in life’s mystery of which this can be said. But nothing of which it is as true as the Resurrection. The Risen Lord enters our life without making a noise. He walks beside us without taking up space. He gives us all of his time without asking anything in return. He is at the centre of everything without forcing our attention. He is invisibly visible.

He is a new way of being, a new way of living. He gives our lives hope and meaning, a purpose in life.  He makes the impossible possible. We are never alone and never will be. He is always with us. We just need the faith to see.

He surprises us.
He makes death transparent and life radiant.
Lent has launched us.
Easter is everywhere.
We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.  
(adapted from words of Laurence Freeman, OSB).

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 14 April 2019

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IN MEMORY OF ME

On Sunday we will recall the joyous entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘Hosanna.’ Some of those who were there at his entry would later be shouting out ‘Crucify him’ in the courtyard of Pontius Pilate.

We will again hear the passion of Christ and the terrible suffering Jesus had to endure.

As Christians we are a committed to be a people that remembers the passion of Jesus: Whenever you do this, do this in memory of me.

We remember the victory of love over the powers of hatred and destruction. The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and of life over death.

His terrible suffering that saved the world, yet it wasn’t his suffering that redeemed us, it was his love.

Surely suffering is something you and I would give almost anything to avoid. Yet we would gladly suffer for someone whom we love.

As Christians we must not only accept suffering but make it holy. Love makes it holy.  And keeping the memory of Christ’s passion makes us sensitive and attentive to the suffering of others.

The cross demands our attention as we recall the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of all who are victims of hate and violence.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 7 April 2019

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CHRIST IS ALIVE

This week, Pope Francis published his response to last year’s Synod on Youth. It begins with the words ‘Christ is Alive’, in Latin, ‘Christus Vivit’ and that will be the common title of this apostolic exhortation.  Unlike some of Francis’s other teaching documents, this one hasn’t made much of a media splash (the download link is inside this newsletter).

Francis addresses, first, young people, but then all the people of God.  He writes in his usual warm, encouraging, and realistic, style.  Of young people in particular, as well as the difficulties which afflict many, he emphasises their ‘genuine desire to develop their talents in order to offer something to our world. In some, we see a special artistic sensitivity, or a yearning for harmony with nature. In others, perhaps, a great need to communicate. In many of them, we encounter a deep desire to live life differently’ (section 84).

I recalled the courage and leadership of our young people in striking to raise awareness of climate change, three weeks ago, and how his words describe the young people with whom I work most days.

To the church as a whole, he urges that ‘we should not stand apart from others’ even while we try to live up to our ideals, including generosity, service, forgiveness, prayer, justice and social friendship (s. 36).  Francis also calls for balance; young people, he says, don’t want a silent church’,  but nor do they want ‘one that is always battling obsessively over two or three issues’ The church’s credibility, and not only with young people, depends on listening (s.41).

Perhaps some of Francis’s observations in this letter might be helpful to our parish community as we respond to Cardinal John’s request that we reflect on the best use of our buildings and other assets.  How can we equip ourselves to support each other as a faith community and as the people of God in the world?

Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

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The Cathedral Connection 31 March 2019

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The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness

 The parable of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known and best loved of all of Jesus’ stories. The younger son discovers that, in spite of his sins he is deeply loved and forgiven by his father. Gandhi experienced this when he was fifteen. He stole something from his brother. However, he felt so bad about it that he made up his mind to confess it to his father. He wrote out his sin on a piece of paper, asking for forgiveness and punishment, while promising to never steal again.

At the time his father was very sick and in bed. Gandhi handed him the note and sat by his father’s bedside waiting for judgment and punishment. His father sat up in bed and began to read the note. As he read it, tears came into his eyes. Gandhi himself began to cry. Instead of getting angry and punishing him, the father hugged the repentant son, and that was the end of the matter.

The experience of being loved while he was in sin had a profound effect on Gandhi. He said years later, ‘Only the person who has experienced this kind of love can know what it is.’

Those who experience this kind of love, know something about the heart of God and in the power of repentance and forgiveness. God never closes his heart to any of his children. No matter what they do, if they return to Him, the one thing they can be sure of is an unconditional and generous welcome.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 24 March 2019

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REFLECT on LOVE

Over the last week we have all born witness to the outpouring of raw emotion around us following the senseless, violent loss of life of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch. We have all been shaken by the interruption to our comfortable lives. The uncertainty, not having the answers and being adrift from security all contribute to a feeling of helplessness.

Today’s Gospel, from Luke, sees people with similar questions as ours today. Questions of why, and how come? In the face of tragedy, Jesus provides comfort but also a sobering call for all of us to reflect and examine our own lives. Tragedy is much easier to stomach when there is someone else to blame. Indeed, we don’t even want to look at the truth of our own lives, our own inner reality, our fears, our brokenness, but we need to. We must dare ourselves to do so because it breathes life and hope for our future. This reflection is not a prison sentence. It is a hand outstretched that liberates us and transforms us.

As we gather today, we remember and take part in the embrace of Christ on the Cross. With his outstretched hands, he embraces both the dead and the living in love, and it is this love that we have seen reflected and shared around the country as the antidote to this act of hate.

May we show responsibility for ourselves and one another; may we gift ourselves to one another; and may we allow God’s gift of love and peace to embolden all our hearts so that we may share them throughout our world.

– Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

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