Letter from the Priest in charge and Parish Notices

Dear All

Lent has begun. Ashes imposed. The Loyola Press website has a wonderful sequence of Visual Prayer through Lent, below is the image and commentary for the first week of Lent. Enjoy the Journey.

The scene of The Temptation of Christ is a 12th–century detail of the magnificent mosaic of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. In its full context, it is situated in the barrel vault of the south arm of the transept. The temptation scene is right above the scene of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

On a golden background depicting the heavenly realm, the mosaic tells the story of Jesus’ temptation through a series of symbols. Moving from left to right, the figures of Christ and the devil repeat in a pattern. Each set evokes one of the temptations of Christ through key images: bread, the pinnacle of the Temple, and the mountain top with all riches of the world. The angels on the right who come to minister to Christ close the visual narrative, as the devil flees downward under them to escape the scene.

This presentation of the temptation story assumes that the viewer is familiar with it. Each of the symbols serves to jog our memory and help us recall the story we already know. In this sense, the mosaic relies on the viewer to be the real storyteller, while the artwork simply summarizes the highlights as reminders along the way. By casting the viewer as storyteller, the artwork invites us into the story in a special way, challenging us to share the Good News of it with others.

The figure of Christ in this mosaic sequence is unique—it is not the man who endured the desert for 40 days among wild animals, but Christ the Lawgiver, holding a scroll in one hand, strong, steady, and wearing dignified robes. Christ the Lawgiver reminds us that each time he rebuked the devil, he did so by referring to the written Word, the truth of God manifest in the Scriptures. Each time the hunger for food, for assurance from God, and for an easier way tempted him, Jesus found steady ground again recalling the Word of God—the source of where he came from and who he was called to be.

Commentary is by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans.

The Reverend Anne Price

Parish Notices

  • Christian World Service appeal to assist Tongan communities affected by Cyclone Gita. Support the Tonga Trust and the churches providing help and shelter. Details 0800 74 73 72.
  • Roadworks: please be aware of changes affecting access to our site for the next few weekends. See map in parish lounge.
  • Lent Study Groups begin this week, Thursdays at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.
  • There will be no Stations of the Cross this week.
  • Communion: 3:00 pm on alternate Sundays, a contemplative and creative service aimed primarily at younger people, but all are welcome. Do you know anyone (especially students and young workers) who might enjoy meeting with a small group of like-minded people? Details from alice.bates@saintmichaels.co.nz or speak to Alice.
  • Youth Group 4:00–5:30 pm at S. Michael’s. Do you have any friends or family in Years 7–13 who would like to join? Details shaun.graveston@yahoo.co.nz or speak to Shaun.
  • Bible Study Group begins tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Women’s Fellowship: the first meeting for 2018 will be on Tuesday, 10:30 am in the parish lounge. Join us for ‘Fasting, Feasting and Fellowship’. All welcome. Details Pat Evans (358 0127).
  • Meditation Group will be meeting in the Kate Kiver Room (Old Stone Building) at 12 noon on Wednesdays. Access through the main entrance to the School, then sign the visitor register in the school office. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215)
  • Double knitting or 4 ply wool, any colour, needed to make hats for distribution through Walsh House. Please place in basket at the back of the church.
  • Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.