Emeritus Bishop Len Boyle of Dunedin uses a Rembrandt painting to depicting the poignancy of the parable of the Prodigal Son during a Retreat in Daily Life at Onslow parish last month.
Can we identify with the youthful impetuosity of the son who learns the hard way the transience of material things and false friends, but finds the repentance and humility to return to his father; or with the father whose love, forgiveness and joy at having his son return knows no bounds; or even with the brother who feels unappreciated and aggrieved at the attention lavished on his erring brother but (according to one conclusion for this open-ended story) after his father’s reassurances, goes to share in the joy of his brother’s return. Have we at times been all three?
Bishop Len led a reflection on this parable and that of the Good Shepherd and the Road to Emmaus for some 70 people who followed his retreat.
Using the mission theme, ‘Walking his way, telling his truth, living his life’, Bishop Boyle showed that we are able to reach the Lord through our own hearts, in our own church and with our own fellow parishioners.
Bishop Len spoke on Prayer, Forgiveness, Eucharist and Reaching Out. Reflections on these topics were given at each Mass and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the evening.
Another highlight for the week was Bishop Len celebrating the Sacrament of Anointing during a Mass on Wednesday afternoon. Some usually housebound people and others from the Malvina Major resthome in Onslow made the effort to attend.