Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou
“To be a missionary disciple means to have had an encounter with MERCY and to lead others to it.” (Pope Francis)
Recently I read a book entitled “Tattoos on the Heart”. It is a book written by a Jesuit priest in the United States who for many years worked with drug addicts, street kids, gang members, the poor and the struggling. I found it a wonderful book with some incredible stories of love and forgiveness, stories of seeing the best in people who would often be ignored by society. One story was of a young man who had been in and out of prison, he had no confidence in himself, no self-esteem at all and thought of himself as worthless.
One day a woman who was working with Fr Greg told the young man she had found a job for him. She welcomed him and treated him as he had never been welcomed or accepted before. He asked Fr Greg why she was doing this. His answer was “because she saw you as somebody, she recognized you as the shape of God’s heart.” His life was never the same again. Someone recognized him as the shape of God’s heart.
Last weekend as we celebrated MISSION EXPO at Bishop Viard College we focused on putting the Mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, at the very centre of who we are. Mission Expo displayed the many, many efforts all around the Archdiocese that help people to encounter God’s mercy.
We can give thanks for the many wonderful things that are happening. As we learn to grapple with COVID-19 and the changes it is bringing in our lives, we are being challenged to rise to the occasion and look after our neighbours and one another, becasue in the words of Pope Francs “I am a Mission”. When we see every other person as having “the shape of God’s heart” we are living our mission.
With every blessing
Naku noa. Na + Hoane