Welcome to S. Michael’s today.
Our readings at Mass have a theme of journey and relationships restored. The prophet Jeremiah longs for the ingathering of the flock which has been scattered because of the destruction caused by faithless and incompetent shepherds: the kings of Israel. The writer of the Letter to the Ephesians longs for peace to be made between Israel and the Gentiles. Indeed that the hostility between them may be abolished through the cross, and that they may be gathered into a household of God, a true dwelling-place of God.
In the Gospel reading also we hear about journey and we see Jesus actively directing the mission as it develops on the ground. The apostles reported back to Jesus all they had done and he then called them to withdraw to a quiet place to rest. In this instance, the new context merely becomes a further setting for Jesus’ ministry to be exercised among the needy and disorganised crowd that seeks him out.
We have come here to seek out Jesus in this Mass. Perhaps you are here to rest awhile after a busy week and to regain focus. Perhaps you are here with problems and conflicts which cry out for the peace which only Christ can give. Perhaps you are here because the Good Shepherd has drawn you back by his wisdom, justice and righteousness to equip you to stand as a beacon of light and goodness in a chaotic world. The Mass is the time when we ‘come away with Jesus by ourselves’ so that he can teach and restore us.
Many people seem to be travelling and holidaying at this time of the year. Some of our congregation are overseas, others have already returned, and some visitors are with us experiencing a Christchurch winter! Last week our family travelled over the Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast, which was a bit of an adventure as we had to use chains for part of the way. One of the highlights of our visit was a trip to Punakaiki Rocks, sometimes known as the Pancake Rocks. We managed to get there for high tide when the sea was very stormy, so the blowholes were functioning brilliantly. On our way back to Greymouth we called in on Barry and Lesta Smithson, who are part of our extended S. Michael’s family. They gave us a very warm welcome and send their greetings to all at S. Michael’s.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky
• Christchurch City Mission: many families and individuals are struggling to cope in winter conditions. The City Mission helps as many people as possible and is very grateful for our donations of food and household items. Please continue to give generously. Clothing and larger items may be delivered directly to 276 Hereford St.
• Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Anne would still be very grateful to hear from anyone who could assist as needed. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• S. Michael’s School: Term 3 begins tomorrow.
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Cecilian Singers Concert: next Sunday, 3:00 pm at the Elmwood Auditorium, $20.
• Book Launch: Slipping the Moorings by Richard Randerson. Next Sunday 6:00 pm at the Cathedral for refreshments and panel discussion.
• The Needlework Group meets monthly, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift: Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books available in parish lounge during the week and in the hall on Sundays.
• Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.