Tag Archives: Mass

The Cathedral Connection – Christmas Newsletter 2019

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Christmas Newsletter 2019

Christmas is truly a feast of the heart. It reveals to us what the heart of God is like. He so loved humanity that He sent His only Son to redeem and save us.

It also reveals what the human heart is capable of. The nativity of Christ causes us to open our hearts and journey back to Bethlehem each year to rediscover our own roots in the gift of Jesus.

In Pope Francis Christmas message of 2018, ‘This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us, our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.

For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture.’ What makes us human is not so much our ability to think as our ability to love.

To the extent to which we open our hearts to God and to each other, we will experience something of the great joy the angels announced to the shepherds over two thousand years ago.

May great joy be yours this coming Christmas and always.

For what has been thanks for what is to come. Yes.

With every blessing, Fr Ron, Fr Doug, Debbie, Michael & Frank.

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The Cathedral Connection 22 December 2019

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ST MATTHEW’S GOSPEL

In Matthew’s infancy narrative, unlike Luke’s, it is Joseph who is the key character, and Matthew’s gospel surrounds the story with a great many allusions and quotations from the Old Testament.

For the people of Israel, Joseph was a significant figure – and Matthew draws out aspects that would be important for his Jewish Christian readers. Joseph is a beloved son who is rejected by his brothers and sold for silver and yet who turns out to be the saviour of his people.

These echoes of Jesus’ own mission help set the scene – as does the fact that Joseph is called the man of dreams and Joseph the husband of Mary has several dreams in which God communicates his plan to him. Joseph is regularly referred to as ‘Son of David’, a term that is applied to Jesus above all in Matthew’s Gospel.

These constant allusions remind us that we are in the place where God is at work and God’s work of salvation can be recognised by these common patterns. If we look to the writings of Paul or of the Evangelist John, there are often very striking theological statements that articulate the faith.

Matthew does something more subtle that his readers would recognise – by constantly touching on the familiar language and concepts of the Jewish faith he reveals the working of the God who has always been there for God’s people, and who is still working in similar ways.

Fr Ron.

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The Cathedral Connection 3 November 2019

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OUR COMMON HOME

During October the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was meeting in Rome. Such reporting as there was in this country hit on the Synod suggesting that where the need exists married men could be ordained as priests, and that there should be further reflection on whether women could be ordained as deacons.

Both are important issues, but there was far more to the Synod than that. The final document speaks of a long path of ‘listening to the People of God in the Church of Amazonia’. It refers to the ecological crisis in that part of the world: deforestation, a loss of biodiversity, infrastructure projects which do not serve the needs of the people, and unsustainable extraction of resources.  The document also emphasizes the ecological wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the region.

This might seem a long way away from us.  Papua New Guinea’s Cardinal John Ribat, however, who attended the Synod, has said that similar problems face this part of the world. The effects of climate change are already being felt in the island nations of Oceania. Sea levels are rising, drinking water is contaminated, storms and erosion threaten coastal communities. Four weeks ago Caritas Aotearoa launched its annual State of the Environment for Oceania report, available here https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment-oceania-2019-report. It’s a short document and worth reading.

As Pope Francis recently observed, ‘The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down’. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Francis reminded us that the whole creation speaks to us of God’s love for us, and that we must use these created gifts wisely, and with thought for future generations.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

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The Cathedral Connection 20 October 2019

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PRAY ALWAYS

The First Reading tells of the battle the Israelites fought after their deliverance from Egypt. Victory was theirs but not from their own efforts alone but from the power of God mediated through the intercession of Moses.

In the Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the helpless widow and the corrupt judge. Through her persistence the judge finally agrees to listen to her complaint, but just to get rid of her.
The profound message in the story is intended for his disciples who are faced with suffering and persecution. If an amoral Judge can be moved by the persistent pleading of a widow, how much more will God see justice done for his faithful ones who cry out to him continually in prayer.

The question is for them in that moment and for us today will they/we, have the faith, trust and fortitude of persevering in prayer, or throw the towel in and abandon the faith, just because our prayers are never answered immediately or sometimes in the manner in which we want.

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 13 October 2019

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RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY

 In the times and places of Scripture, leprosy was a feared and dreaded disease Not only did it disable and disfigure and shorten life, it also isolated and marginalised.

However, the hopelessness and fear with which Jesus’s society regarded leprosy parallels the perception of many people today regarding the future of our planet.

This year, young people in particular have shown that they are familiar with the urgency of scientific predictions – that unless we act promptly and radically to address the climate crisis and other forms of environmental pollution and degradation, our future is at risk.

The human and the habitat are in need of healing and restoration. Pope Francis recognised four years ago, in his encyclical on the care of our common home ‘Laudato Si’, that climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity. He said even doomsday predictions cannot any longer be met with irony or disdain, as the likelihood grows that we will leave to future generations debris, desolation and filth, along with the increased likelihood of catastrophic events.

But all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom.

Traditionally, Respect Life Sunday has focused on issues at the beginning and end of life, and we need to continue to focus on these questions. But our Catholic tradition has long recognised that there are many other threats to human life. Pope Francis calls it integral ecology and asks us to work together for a hopeful future for our children and grandchildren.

Fr Ron

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