Dear Parishioners of St Benedicts
I am writing to you from St Benedicts on the 29th day of the Covid-19 shutdown. It has been a long month! I do hope that all of you are ok and making the best of the situation that we find ourselves in. If anyone would like to call me, my contact number is (09) 373 4395 – would be good to catch up and chew the fat.
There is light at the end of the tunnel – there will be life after the shutdown. Keep the message of Easter alive in your hearts – death, darkness and failure never have the last say. As Christians we have a particular belief and faith in light, life and the future. We grow our faith through our experiences – this virus can be incarnational for us. We can grow stronger in what we believe. We are Easter people, or we are nothing at all.
Can I ask you all to read and spend some time with this Sunday’s gospel scripture Luke 24:13-35. It is a favourite of mine. There is so much theology, history and psychology in it. It is a paschal story where we meet two depressed and disillusioned disciples on a journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Their world has collapsed. The one they had put their hopes and money on has been executed. In this time our world has collapsed. So much of what we hoped for has been destroyed. We too are down cast, wondering what happened. We too today perhaps fear for the future.
Jesus appears to these two as a stranger. It is a meeting that ends up life-changing. Perhaps at this time we are looking for something or someone to help us in our bubbles of dismay and insecurity. It is in times like this that we, just like the two disciples, yearn for someone who can unburden us from our predicament, It is exactly that loving and understanding presence that Jesus provides for the disciples in their hour of most need. Jesus interrupts his journey and agrees to spend the night with them and it is during a meal with them, that in the breaking of the bread and opening of the scriptures, that their eyes are finally opened and they recognise the presence of their Risen Lord.
What Jesus did for those disciples is available to us. For the disciples, Jesus is a companion on the journey. He will be our companion too on our own journey, especially at this time, if we open our hearts to him. Let us pray that we too will have our eyes opened as we hear the words of scripture and encounter the Risen Lord in the Eucharist. My advice – let the Risen Lord and the message of Easter be a part of your bubble!
With personal good wishes.
Monsignor Paul Farmer