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Maintaining Connections


Today's Gospel from John 15:1-8 reminds me to maintain connections. Of course connections to Christ through prayer and a deep sense of gratitude but also connections to other people which can be difficult to maintain given our often separate and independent lives. Perhaps we can make a connection with someone we haven't connected with for awhile.


Recently, I had an uplifting and fruitful time with several Marist groups at our centre in Auckland, Whanau Maria. I was inspired by the energy and commitment of our young and slightly older Marist leaders working with youth in schools and other contexts coming together to draw life, energy and inspiration from one another and our common Marist story.


I connected too with my Challenge 2000 friends in Wellington on Anzac Day. I hadn't touched base with them for a long time and it was very moving to join them in honouring the Anzacs and to be mindful of those still affected by the horrors of war.


On Friday night we connected with our Eastern brothers and sisters at St Anne's in Manurewa. This was a unique experience for me celebrating Mass with a Bishop from the Maronite Rite. Various relics of saints connected with the Eastern and Latin Churches were processed into the Church including our precious taonga of our confrere, St Peter Chanel. Below is a picture of our seminarian, Lachie Bartlett, soon off to Rome to continue his studies, holding the Waka Huia (treasure box) containing the rib bone of St Peter Chanel. In the background there are a couple of Eastern Bishops. Bishop Robert facing us is from the Melkite Church. We usually celebrate the feast of St Peter Chanel on April 28th but given today is a Sunday and the Resurrection takes precedence we will be celebrating his feast on Monday this year.


The song I have chosen for you today is inspired by today's Scripture, I am the vine, you are the branches.' Go to my website www.chrisskinner.org.nz. Click on the word albums and scroll down to the album 'Words of Love', the song is track 3. For some reason the earlier link wasn't working. I hope this works for you.


Jesus your presence calls us to worship

Draws us together united as one

One in your spirit, one in communion

Lifting our voices

May your kingdom come

 

I am the vine, you are the branches

You can do nothing apart from me

 

Remain in my love

And keep my commandments

My own joy within you

And your joy complete

Love one another as I have loved you

 

Here in the silence

Anoint your people

Gift us with wisdom

Make us your own

And with the Father and Holy Spirit

Deep in our hearts Lord

Come make your home

 

I am the vine, you are the branches

You can do nothing apart from me

 

Remain in my love

And keep my commandments

My own joy within you

And your joy complete

Love one another as I have loved you

 

Jesus your presence calls us to worship


Blessings on your week.

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