Today, the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, is the feast day of our Christchurch diocese, since the Baptist is our patron saint. I caught myself seeking an image for this post, and focussing on the thousands of available images of our Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament reduced to ruins by the February 2011 earthquake.
While we do want to stay up to date with post-earthquake developments and the rebuild process, three years on a damaged Cathedral is no longer a helpful image for a diocese. Much more appropriate is the crowd of several thousand, the people of the diocese with the priests and bishop, celebrating Mass for the feast of Christ the King in November of last year.
And in another most-helpful image the powerful bronzed tabernacle doors (Ria Bancroft) from the Cathedral, now in safe storage, speak most vividly of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to whom our patron John the Baptist continues to point us.
Today with Bishop Barry Jones, let us pray for the people of the diocese of Christchurch; those of Catholic and Christian faith, those of other faiths, and those who profess no divine belief. We have journeyed together since September 2010 through suffering, and tragedy with loss of life. “T’is grace have brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home.”