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Ko te wā o Rēneti – a personal reflection for Lent, part 2

Nā Arama Pou.

Greetings to you all.

This year, we – the Church – are focusing on mercy and how we can lead merciful lives. Mercy is a broad term and a recurring theme in the Gospel readings this month and during this season of Lent.

Through the readings, we come to know what mercy is and how we can lead merciful lives. The Gospel for the fifth Sunday of Lent (John 8:1-11) has Jesus meeting the woman caught in adultery (but not the man). At the end of this scene, Jesus is alone with the woman. He says to her: ‘I do not condemn you’. This is a moment of mercy. After her accusers had gone, Augustine writes: ‘there are the two left – misery (the woman) and mercy (Jesus)’.

The Latin words miseria (misery) and cor (heart) form the word misericordia (mercy). Mercy comes about when someone’s heart is moved to enter the misery of another.

A Māori word for mercy is aroha. Other words include atawhai and tohu. Aroha can be broken down into two words: aro to take heed and hā the essence of the person. Thus, aroha means to take heed of the essence (heart) of the person. Aroha is also another word for ‘sorry’.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus takes heed of the essence of the woman. Another Gospel reading has Jesus telling the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We see the son returning to his waiting father, so too are we walking with Jesus to our loving Father. We are already travelling on this road of mercy and forgiveness, especially in this season of Lent.

Pope Francis sets us an example of this journey to wake up the world.

Nā Arama Pou

Tēnā koutou katoa, ko te aroha (mercy) te aronga nui mō tātou i tēnei wā.

Arā noa atu ngā tikanga o te kupu aroha, ā, me uaua kē e kore ai e rangona te kaupapa matua o te aroha i roto i ngā pānuitanga o te Rongo Pai mō tēnei wā.

Mā ngā pānuitanga, ka mōhio tātou: he aha te aroha? Ko te tūtakitanga o Hēhu i te wahine i mahi i te pūremu te Rongo Pai mō te Rātapu Tuarima o Rēneti. Kei te mutunga o te kōrero nei, i mahue a Hēhu rāua ko te wahine i te iwi.

Taro kau iho, i kī a Hēhu ki te wahine: “Tē au e whakahē i a koe.” He wā aroha tēnei. I tuhi a Hato Augustine mō te kōrero nei: ‘I mahue te tokorua noa iho i te iwi – te tangata kōtonga (te wahine) rāua ko te tangata aroha (ko Hēhu)’. I roto I te reo Latin, i hangaia te kupu misericordia (aroha) e ngā kupu e rua: miseria (kōtonga) me cor (manawa).

Waihoki, i roto i te reo Māori, ko atawhai me tohu ētahi whakamāramatanga o te kupu aroha. He kupu anō tēnei hei whakaatu i te whakapāha o te tangata. I hangaia te kupu aroha e ngā kupu e rua: ‘aro’ me ‘hā.’ Ko te kupu aro: me āta kite. Ko te kupu hā: te iho o te tangata.

I te kōrero rā, i āta kite a Hēhu i te iho o te wahine, ā, i whakaatu ia i tōna aroha mō te wahine. Ko te kupu whakarite o te tama tōtōa te Rongo Pai mō te Rātapu Tuawhā o Rēneti. Kua hoki te tama tōtōa ki tōna pāpā e tatari ana. Nā, kua haere tātou ki te taha o Hēhu ki tō tātou Matua.

I tēnei wā o Rēneti, kua haere kē tātou mā runga i te ara o te aroha.

Karawhiua!

Arama Jason Pou, a former pupil of St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt, is a second-year student at Waikato University studying for a Bachelor of Arts in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. He plans to become a secondary- school teacher of te reo Māori and Religious Studies.