and grow like a cedar of Lebanon
الصديق كالنخل يزهر، ومثل أرز لبنان ينمي
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week we enter into the third week of our Lenten journey and reflect on the healing of the haemorrhaging woman through our Liturgy. As with all the Gospel passages in this blessed season, themes of healing, forgiveness, repentance, faith and especially love are ever present. However we just need to watch or read the news to discover that we live in a world that nurtures and reflects the exact opposite. The events that are taking place in the world and especially in the Middle East reflects two faces of humanity. A face of humanity that fosters aggression, mercilessness, anger and hate and another face that stands by idly and watches. Just in the last few weeks the images from the following scenes are engraved in our minds:
16 Feb 2015 The beheading of twenty one Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya;
24 Feb 2015 Detaining of 90 Christians in two villages in the al-Hasakah province in north east Syria;
27 Feb 2015 Kidnapping of 220 Assyrian Christians in northern Syria
From the abductions, to the ruthless beheadings to the sieges the list goes on and on. From Syria to Iraq to Egypt to Lebanon and even to our own doorsteps in Sydney there is no escaping this barbaric behaviour. Even animals with their own so-called “animal instincts” would be ashamed. This raises the question: When will this haemorrhaging stop? Further: for how much longer is the world going to continue to do nothing? Is there a bigger scheme that is at play against the Christians? What is the answer to this situation that our world is in?
Yes we need to pray and yes we need to give and yes we need to help the refugees, but what else can we do? Yes we need to forgive them in the same way that out Lord Jesus Christ taught us on the cross, yes to all our Christian values and virtues in dealing with them and a very big yes to finding justice for all those who are suffering, but what else can we do?
Therefore the above question: when will the haemorrhaging stop, is a very important question, however the question that is more important is: What are we going to do to stop this haemorrhaging?
Over the last two weeks we have been walking the way of the Cross on Friday nights at 6pm and 8pm. The Stations of the Cross, together with the evening prayers and adoration of the Cross all help us to activate the spirit of healing, forgiveness, repentance, faith and love as we reflect on our own lives and the life of our Lord, especially his Passion. It is wonderful to see so many parishioners taking part and experiencing this through our Liturgy. One thing that we can do for sure is encourage someone who would not normally attend, to come along and experience the splendour of our faith.