Friday, April 10, 2009

"It is Accomplished" - Jesus dies on the Cross

Jesus said "it is accomplished"; and bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

Loving God;
The comfort of the sad, the strength of those who suffer:
Hear the prayers of your children who cry out to you in their trouble.
To the distressed souls grant mercy, relief and refreshment.

To the dying grant comfort and hope.
May none of your children be let alone.

Good Friday Morning

We adore you o Christ and we bless you; by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the World.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Fire at Saint Bridget's Ballan

Here are some pictures  Taken  just before 8 this morning as Ballan awoke to the news that Saint Bridget's  church had been burnt out by fire during the night.  The CFA and Police had closed the roads around St Bridget's and a group was gathering along Inglis Street opposite the church. The wet, low-cloud morning had taken away the smell of the smoke and the building resembled the community it had exited for; its heart burnt out and the fragile shell a symbol of what had been.

A lady approached the road-block in her car and seeing the group assembling on the roundabout asked what was happening. As the group pointed to the gutted shell  the driver began to cry, "we have lost our priest and now we have lost our church".  The crowd included many for the nearby Anglican church who had come to lend support and provide  offers of hospitality. The Business Manager from the Catholic Archdiocese was there as was  the Anglican Bishop's Chaplain  who offered the help and support of the Anglican Bishop of Ballarat, the Rt Rev'd Michael Hough. The two bishops had a conversation later in the day where support was again pledged along with the offer of the congregation of St Bridget's using the Ballan  Anglican Church and buildings for as long as needed.

Retired Anglican Bishop John Stewart who leads worship at Ballan once a month and will be leading  the Easter services, also visited Ballan. Bishop Stewart met with the Principle of St Bridget's primary School offering his help and support. 

A meeting is being held at 5 PM in Ballan today with Bishop Peter to look at the way forward. Ballarat Anglican churches have been asked to offer special prayers today and through the week for the people of St Bridget's.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What's that in the bread, it's gone to my head?

Reflections for Tuesday in Holy Week

Just some random thoughts on today's gospel reading; more for my own reflection but it is a good discipline to write for others. I find it helps me to be more honest in  my own reflections.

John 13.21-38

Jesus is troubled: it is party time - Passover - he has his close friends gathered around him,the stress of the past week and the enormity of what lies ahead of him weighs on his mind. His disciples, all perhaps but Judas, are relaxed reclining around him, eating and drinking, not sure of what has just happened, confused by what the Master is saying, unaware of what is about to occur.

Even bold and brash Simon Peter ask 'the disciple whom Jesus loves' to find out what Jesus is really saying (V.24).

What a picture we have here: a loving  disciple reclining against Jesus; Judas waiting for the moment to leave the gathering and go to betray Jesus - did he take the purse with him? It is implied that he had it on him (V.29); Simon Peter, perhaps in party mode, pledging loyalty  to death - Jesus knowing that Peter is big on words and weak on action.

Gathered around Jesus in this cameo is the "A" team; those called to 'train the  trainers', to be the absolvers of the absolvers, to be the witnesses to the Resurrection.  When Jesus needs them they are spent and tired. I am not a great fan of the  Weber/Rice  Jesus Christ, Superstar but it has some great insights, one of them being the song the  'Last Supper'

Always hoped that I'd be an Apostle.
New that I would make if I tried.
Then when we retire we can write the Gospels,
And they'll still talk about us when we die.

You can almost hear them saying: "come on Jesus, dont spoil the party, it a holiday weekend, chill man - let's talk about this in the morning".

Lovers, accusers and friends; drunks and determined; some in vino veritas and some as cold as steel. Such are those Jesus gathers around him when he is most in need, whose dirty feet he washes and for whom he offers his body.

As much as I try to escape it, I am there too. So which one  am I?