Witness’ of God’s Love

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we enter the sixth and second last week of the Season of the Glorious Resurrection, we again encounter the Resurrected Christ who unexpectedly appears to the apostles. This week we take a break from the Johannine Gospels and reflect on the Gospel of Saint Luke where we find a certain sequence to this passage. The master of story-telling, Luke, unfolds the apparition like a three-act play: Jesus appears suddenly; the disciples respond with fear; and Jesus calms their fears. After seeing his hands and feet, there was joy, but still disbelief and wonder. Saint Luke’s description of the disciple’s reaction is excellent:
‘in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.’ Isn’t it so true how faith slowly dispels doubt? Isn’t it true how joy testifies to the world-changing reality, however some questions always remain unanswered and we are kept wondering? If even in their joy and after experiencing the living Jesus, the apostles found it hard to comprehend his Resurrection, how can we do this after 2000 years?

Being a witness to Jesus is not easy, however it is not impossible! To be a witness we need strength in faith and perseverance. Our mission is to be a witness of the love of God revealed in Jesus. It this love that drives us to believe and confirms us in our faith. We need to ask ourselves this question: Am I a witness of this love?

We especially need to ask ourselves this question in light of the journey that we are on during this Jubilee Year of Martyrdom and Martyrs in the Maronite Church. There are so many examples of people who were witnesses till death. Their witness meant that they sacrificed their lives and became the ultimate witnesses of God’s love.

God continues to send us examples of his love through the Saints and Saint Rita was no exception. As a daughter, wife, mother and religious sister, Saint Rita witnessed to the love of God revealed in Jesus at every moment of her life. As we conclude the Novena in her honour and celebrate her feast, let us always turn to her example and ask for her intercession in our time of need. It is through her example that God shows us that nothing is impossible.

Preparations are well underway for the Gala Dinner which will be held next Friday. The committee has been working very hard to make the final arrangements. We are all looking forward to a memorable night in which we can raise the much-needed funds to make the necessary renovations to the statute, shelter and grotto. Last week, the procession in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima was truly a beautiful occasion in which our Maronite Church together with the Latin Church celebrated as one. Our thanks to the clergy and organizing team from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta and especially to Subdeacon Charbel Dib for representing OLOL on the team.

Fr Tony Sarkis

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