Jesus I know is no cold, hard Iron-Christ; nor does Jesus
deserve to be reduced to smug, glib and uncompassionate
irrelevancies when the real meaning of His love is what
people need so desperately.
is Worthy?" Ted Kennedy
This month we remember Michelle Riley and all the
young people who have died. We continue the journey
of Lent to Easter. It is also Women’s International
Day on 8th March so we remember all the women of
the world especially women who have struggled to
bring about justice for their people.
was held at St.Vincents, Redfern with the celebrant,
Fr. John Ford, at the request of the mother, Patricia.
It was a sad occasion
yet at the same time a joyous one as hundreds of
Aboriginal people from all around NSW and Toowoomba
QLD, joined together with many white people to celebrate
Michelle was a
well-loved member of the Redfern Community. She
had over come many obstacles to reach the stage
of enrolling at Eora College. Michelle’s continuous
and courageous efforts had gained admiration from
Fr. John Ford gently
drew the people into full participation of the service.
Patricia, Michelle’s mother was asked by him to
sprinkle the coffin with holy water to which she
replied, “Just like as in Baptism” She was a gallant
little lady who showed great courage and dignity.
brothers carried the cask while at the cemetery
her seven nieces danced a moving farewell to their
May Michelle rest in Peace.
Lent to Easter
we approach the end of Lent and come into the time
of Holy Week. We recall how we have travelled this
journey in our liturgies.
is a time to look at ourselves and how we can change
so that we can be there for others. It is about us
bringing hope to the story of disfigurement and maiming:
hope to the story of others and the universe. …..Jesus
models for us a way to be human; how to resist;
how to choose rightly; and how to live as God's people.
The temptations are
a three-pronged attack on Jesus' humanity…. and ours.
We are faced with challenges choices, failures, promises,
change, small victories and deepened awareness of
how we might still grow in our humanity.”
of Lent is not only expiation, to satisfy the divine
justice, but above all a preparation to rejoice in
God's love. And this preparation consists in receiving
the gift of God's mercy - a gift which we receive
in so far as we open our hearts to it, casting out
what cannot remain in the same room with mercy. Now
one of the things we must cast out first of all is
fear. Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart.
It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up
our power to give ourselves….”
Thomas Merton, in "Seasons
is thirsting at noon by the well as he does at noon
on the cross. We are 'at home' on the way, with our
grumblings, our doubts and our fears. Somehow the
‘Moses’ of our journey leads us from crisis to crisis,
from one issue to another.
If it is not Aboriginal
people it is women. If not women, then gay people.
If not gay people, then the Muslims or middle easterners,
or children, or refugees, or people living with mental
illness. God is with us in all people with
their difference and in all the different issues –
where we are challenged to practice our full humanity,
diversity and complexity. Places like the
‘urban well’ are the new places were we are free to
meet God and one another, in freedom of spirit and
fullness of truth.
March 20 Palm Sunday. The Sydney Peace and
Justice Coalition, together with the Ecumenical Council
of NSW, will conduct the annual Palm Sunday Rally
and Liturgy at Parramatta Park opposite St Patrick’s
Cathedral beginning at 2.00pm. Come to the geographical
heart of Sydney to participate in a short walk for
the long road to peace.
Please note: this will NOT take place at Belmore Park
Reflecting on the Journey
Lent to Easter
We are aware of the seed and its
journey deep into the darkness of the damp soil;
it is in the darkness and the not knowing that it
will slowly send out small roots; it will stretch
up, moving towards the light and at some moment
will break through into the light where it will
grow strong with the energy of the sun and the rain
of the cloud.
The green leaves change into the
red, orange, yellow, burgundy colours of Autumn
and fall to the ground to be buried into the darkness
from where new life will emerge.
We thank the Earth for reminding
us of the journey of darkness to life in this season
of Easter. We ask our God, sustaining Word, Compassionate
One, Breath of the Cosmos, Evening warmth and Heartbeat
of the Universe to bless our world and all its peoples.
Moments of Grace:
O Lord, our God
We are here
Because your are here
Because we have gathered,
And this is holy ground
We take off our shoes
Out of reverence
For your assurance
That you carry us.
We take off our
To feel your closeness,
And to sense the goodness
Of all that you have made.
We take off our shoes
So that there’s nothing
To separate us from You…
ever we are. Help us to stand in awe at your
everywhere is holy ground because you are there
Just as You are here.
(Holy Ground –Tom X. Corrigan)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning told us:
“ Earth’s crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God.”
she continued, seeing this reality depends on having
a deep sense of the sacred, of being able to see through
the mundane to the implicit graciousness of all life,
since all is gift – all life, all creation is pregnant
with the epiphany of God…..”
(Forward to Holy Ground Tom.X Corrigan
by Evelyn Woodward)
Reflect on some of
the epiphanies in your life recently. What has inspired
you lately? What has challenged you lately? What has
excited you recently?
Now choose a piece
of paper and write a word which speaks of your reflection
You may like to share it with someone.
As we have shared our stories we aware that whatever
challenges, inspires and excites us will be the sparks
for a new flame that will burn brightly for wherever
I am – God is too.
8 International Women’s Day.
The UN invites us to recognise that
peace and social progress require the active participation
and equality of women, and to acknowledge the contribution
women make to international peace reconciliation.
So in honour of this
day we share this poem with you.
in Honour of Womanfriends J B
Let there be in my life those women
Who, knowing and unknowing,
Flank my soul with
A sense of place home.
Let them come
tiptoeing their gifts
filling my heart’s halls
With food and drink
of laughter and tears, visions and memory.
Let them come
Stomping out of the wrath of
Indignities, indecencies, injustices, indescribable
agonies of many sisters gone before,
Many still to come.
Let them live and move
and take up residence in me (I shall risk it)
where, at last, I/we cannot escape love – not a goddess
Collated by Sheila Quonoey