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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Love, Kindness, Marriage and Bishop Pat Power – on the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus - 2012

Jesus’ heart was pierced and came the last drops of blood and water – a powerful imagery of Jesus’ love, God’s love - to us and to the whole humanity. God loved the world so much that he gave his only son and His Son loved the world so much that He gave even the last drops of water and blood from His heart to the world, which became fountain of grace flowing through the sacraments in the Church.

St Paul encourages us “to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth,
of the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge”. The power of love is very well depicted in this short story.

There is an old tale         
About a boy,         
An only son         
Who fell in love with a lovely girl.         
`You don't love me,        
 You never did,' said she to him.        
`But if you do, go then        
And fetch me your mother's heart.'        
 Downcast and distraught         
The boy walked off        
 And after shedding copious tears         
Came back to his love.          
The girl was angry         
When she saw him thus.And said, `Don't you dare come back again         
Without your mother's heart.'         
The boy went and killed         
His mother, and as he ran         
With her heart in his hand         
He slipped and fell.         
`My dear child, My poor child,' Cried the mother's heart,         
`Did you hurt yourself?'
By Armenian writer,  AVETIK ISAHAKIAN

 Jesus’s love is like the mother’s love. He loves even when it hurts and his love is compassionate.It gently, but powerfully invokes us to love and show kindness.
Yesterday after 21 years after receiving the Nobel Prize, Ang San Suu Kyi – Burmeese democracy fighter – delivered her Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Suu Kyi used her speech to promote kindness and warned against kindness fatigue. It was an emotional ceremony, as you might have watched. She said:

"Of the sweets of adversity, and let me say that these are not numerous, I have found the sweetest, the most precious of all, is the lesson I learnt on the value of kindness. Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in our world. To be kind is to respond with sensitivity and human warmth to the hopes and needs of others. Even the briefest touch of kindness can lighten a heavy heart. Kindness can change the lives of people."

It is this kindness the mission of Christ and Church today in this world. Church does that with great care, but many a time it can be misunderstood. Going back to the story of Mother’s heart, the Church’s heart would add something like this, I guess:

`My dear child, My poor child,         
`Did you hurt yourself?'
`You poor thing. Watch over! There are hurdles ahead.'

That attitude of concern also come from great love and care. One of those issues would be that of the debate on marriage in Australia and this week is very critical for that debate.
As Peter Jensen – the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney noted: “There are some glossy slogans out there (like marriage equality), but the difficulty with slogans is that they are not arguments and, so, are hard to refute, except by slogans in return.” Unfortunately, Church is not in the business of slogan writing. But we can just say with great love and kindness that we value marriage – and the right of our children to be born, raised and nurtured in a family atmosphere – with the care and love of a father and mother.

And we will be remembering the contribution of such a wonderful parental figure in our archdiocese this week – our retiring bishop Pat Power. We acknowledge the love and kindness he has shown to all in our archdiocese and his farewell Mass is on this Tuesday evening at the Cathedral. Let’s say thank you to him.. and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


* Delivered at Corpus Christi Parish, South Tuggeranong, Canberra on 17 June 2012

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