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Beyond the Call of duty



For all those witnessing on our screens the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, I am sure your hearts are going out to all the people affected.


I spent my early training in the seminary at The Mission, Greenmeadows in the Hawkes Bay. I am familiar with all the place names that have been inundated by the floods. Frequently we would walk over the hills behind our seminary, picnic and swim in the river at Puketapu. We picked grapes in the Esk Valley during the harvest. And here closer to Auckland, I have often spent time at Muriwai and taken visitors to see the gannets. These places now give witness to harrowing stories of survival and tragic stories of loss.


Our readings this Sunday remind us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Haven't we witnessed that in so many acts of heroism and human kindness over these days? People going beyond the call of duty to ensure people are safe, sheltered and feed to the extent of putting their own lives at risk and in some cases sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.


Some year ago, I wrote a song 'Beyond the call of duty' featured on the album 'Place at the Table', for the Emergency Workers working in the Wellington region. We celebrated a Mass at St Mary of the Angels inviting all the various agencies to attend as a way of acknowledging and thanking them for their work. Given what so many are going through now around the North Island and all those called into assist from other places, I share this song with you.


Beyond the call of Duty


Beyond the call of duty we give thanks for you

The risks you take to make us safe, give thanks for you

For the anguish you witness has a human face

From the bottom of our hearts we give thanks


For your strength of mind and character we honour you

For serving our community we honour you

May the bonds that unite us be unyielding

For your lives on the front line we give thanks


May we know that our lives are interwoven

Each of us has a duty to fulfil

May the way you respond in your vital role

Shed its light, to guide us towards that goal

We give thanks to you

We give thanks to you

We give thanks to you


May this time we share together here encourage you

May our love and prayers for your sweat and tears, encourage you

May you always feel appreciated

From the bottom of our hearts we give thanks


For the friends you’ve lost along the way, we pray for them

Their family’s loss at such high cost, we pray for them

For the burdens you’ve carried and the sleepless nights

For your lives on the front line we give thanks


May we know that are lives are interwoven

Each of us has a duty to fulfil

May the support we give lift your spirits high

Touch your hearts and strengthen your resolve

We give thanks to you

We give thanks to you

We give thanks to you


May the good you do for those in need inspire you

The relief you bring to their suffering inspire you

May the promise of a new dawn give them comfort

From the bottom of our hearts we give thanks


Blessings on your week.

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Jenny Reynolds
Jenny Reynolds
19 feb 2023

Thoughts and prayers for everyone who has been affected by the floods. I think of all the Marists who have passed through Greenmeadows, and also the students who spent time there but decided that the priesthood wasn't for them.

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