Saturday Vigil : 6:00pm
Sunday 9:30am, 11:30am (Filipino Community)
Monday -Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion 9am
Tuesday to Saturday Mass: 9:00am
Saturday: Holy Hour & Exposition of the
Blessed Sacrament: 8:00am
Saturday Confession: 9:30am
Tongan Mass: Fourth Sundays - 3:00pm
27 Telford Ave, Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand.
Caritas Lenten Reflection Programme 2017
Making good choices – even when it’s difficult
The temptations faced by Christ were for material gain and comfort, renown and fame. In his weakened state, it took personal strength and connection with his Father and his Scriptural tradition to resist these temptations. One of the challenges facing people today is that it can be hard to resist supposed short-cuts to wealth or comfort. Just as Jesus was tempted to worship Satan to acquire wealth and power, we are tempted to take short cuts rather than doing things the right way. Satan doesn’t keep his promises, but we can trust that our heavenly Father will. We need to put God first in all things.
Opening our eyes to see as God sees
The blind man was judged by his community and blamed for his disability. He becomes empowered after his encounter with Jesus, not just through being given his sight back but also by being given a voice to speak up. The Pharisees, while looking down on ‘sinners’ are blind to the identity of Jesus and unable to see the blind man for the person he truly is. They are unaware of their own blindness and cannot see past their own prejudices to recognise Jesus in front of them.
An encounter with God’s love
The disciples are overcome and afraid in the shadow of the cloud. God’s revelation and power was totally awe-inspiring and overpowering for them. Many people face overwhelming situations in the face of natural forces of creation, such as a violent storm. Jesus touches the disciples and helps them to stand up. Encountering Jesus and his physical presence helps them overcome their fear. Personal encounter is important in helping people stand up through the storms of life. God’s love and light are revealed when people support each other. We connect with Christ and with each other as a community, so every person knows they are not alone. We are the face of the Father’s mercy when we reach out to touch and encourage one another in our fear.
The raising of Lazarus – with God it’s never too late
God is able to redeem any situation. Even though Jesus arrived after Lazarus had died, he had the ability to respond - when the situation looked hopeless from a human perspective. When problems have gone on for so long, with no apparent solution in sight, the temptation to despair is great. Suffering doesn’t mean that God is absent; nor does it mean the final word has been said. As fallen human creatures, our perspective is limited to what we know or to what God has revealed to us by his Spirit. With God it’s never too late. He always finds a way – sometimes ways we can’t imagine. God is active and often works through his people. In this way faith brings forth action.
Encountering God in unlikely people or places
The encounter at the well transcends barriers – between male and female, Jew and Samaritan, cultural and religious difference. The discussion starts with a request to meet a material need and becomes one about more profound and spiritual needs. In her encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman becomes aware of a world beyond her experience. It opens up new perspectives and opportunities for her. She becomes aware that there is more on offer than what can be physically seen and felt. Jesus is taking her to a different understanding of God’s creation, beyond the water for our physical needs to the equally essential springs of living water. She becomes aware through this encounter that God’s abundance is more than she can see – “if you only you knew what God is offering.” We are also invited to see beyond the obvious to what God is offering us.
Encountering the face of Christ through the Passion
Peter was trying to keep a low profile after the arrest of Jesus. He found himself being accused of being a follower of Jesus. Peter was overtaken by fear and denied knowing Jesus. Peter lost hope temporarily. Then came the moment of realisation. Peter wept when he heard the cock crow and he remembered his commitment to Jesus. He acknowledged his mistake. After the resurrection Jesus restored the relationship with Peter as he knew that Jesus still accepted and loved him.