This issue’s gospel reading depicts two of Jesus’ disciples on the road to Emmaus puzzling over the events of the past days – how their friend and mentor, Jesus, prophet and son of the father, could have come to such an ignominious end, crucified as a common criminal. He was the Messiah, supposed to save the world. They are so involved in their own bewildered sadness that they don’t notice the particular quality of the man who falls into step beside them, then explains the events of the last few days in the context of scriptural prophecy.
This wondering has become a kind of default setting in my nine and a half years as editor of Wel-Com. As I have read, wondered, researched, each question leads to more questions. The big question is always, what is my role in helping to realise the reign of God and, in darker moments, what does it all mean, for God’s sake!
Of one thing I am sure, my enormous gratitude to the church of Wellington and Palmerston North for the opportunity to hone my skills as editor – backed by years of daily journalism and a small amount of theology – for your reading of the newspaper, for your accolades and your criticism, much of it constructive and helpful for my understanding.
The Church, being a committee of sinners, or so it sometimes seems, has nevertheless been good to me. I have had great opportunities to develop gifts I didn’t know I possessed, perhaps the best, a subduing of ego for the greater good. I have come to realise that things go better when my ego is out of the way and I can trust in God to help me get the newspaper ‘to bed’.
So now, having edited 100 issues of Wel-Com, it’s time to say ‘goodbye’ and ‘thanks’, it’s been good to know you. I pray that the two dioceses continue to strive to bring about the reign of God through interraction in parish groups and through grappling with issues of injustice in our midst. And may we all relish the moments of messiness – as I have come to know them especially in the 48 hours before Wel-Com goes to press each month – as times when God is there, loving and nurturing us and helping us to understand the mysteries in the breaking of bread together.
In saying adieu, I wish to pay tribute to the Wel-Com Advisory Board – Julia Stuart, Br Kieran Fenn, Paul Elenio, Fr James Lyons and Tony Murphy for gently steering me towards the straight and narrow, to Susan Wilson of TCI for her wise advice on my editorials and finally to Ray Byrne for stirling work on the advertising front.