broken ?

May 21, 2020

“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

The concluding verse of today’s gospel provides the method for experiencing real hope.

I have reflected in earlier posts about the superficiality of ignoring the pain and seeing only the positive. While this putting-on-a-brave-face approach might help us get through a trying meeting or even a difficult day, a more realistic and robust approach is needed if we are to experience transforming hope.

Jesus gives a method:

“Amen, amen, I say to you”

We know “Amen” as the word meaning “I believe” at the end of a prayer. So when Jesus begins what he is about to say with “Amen, Amen” he is really stressing the importance of what is to follow.

“You will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve…”

Note that Jesus is acknowledging the feelings that we often prefer to hide beneath the surface. Naturally we would much rather focus on the good moments and look on the bright side. Not a bad thing to do, but the path of real growth happens in any relationship when we can share the struggles, and where we can even weep. In prayer this the honesty and openness that is the starting point for deepening relationship with Jesus Christ and maturation of Christian faith.

And then Jesus transforms our weeping, our mourning and our grief…

“…but your grief will become joy.”

Note that this joy is not a human achievement. The joy that we seek is not the result of our own efforts but the fruit of opening up to Jesus, and perhaps to a friend, expressing our vulnerability and our need in the hope of healing. The healthy person knows that before God we are like the beggar, humbly on our knees acknowledging our need for God for everything.

In these weeks we feel life’s burden and insecurity even more as we struggle under the effects of coronavirus lockdown including loss of work and income and relationship tensions and many other consequences. The prayer intentions received on this page also reveal the varied intentions that we have for the brokenness and vulnerability we feel.

We’ve always known to be on guard against visible and tangible threats, but we could never have imagined that something as invisible as a virus could bring us to our knees and cast light on our vulnerabilities and our brokenness.

When you feel broken, do you think of this as a problem or an opportunity?

Perhaps an analogy will be helpful? We can feel broken like a broken light-bulb which is unable to give light and is good for nothing. OR we can feel broken like a jigsaw in pieces, full of potential inviting people with a sense of adventure to participate in the mending.

An Invitation:

  • Take a few moments of stillness to call to mind any way in which you feel broken. Perhaps it is worries about children, or health, or financial or work security or study. Perhaps the COVID-19 effects have surfaced insecurities in your life. If such brokenness leads us to feel like the broken lightbulb, it is difficult to experience light. BUT if we view any brokenness in ourselves as the jigsaw in pieces then we are ready for the adventure that is human life. Without faith life is just hard work. With faith in Jesus Christ we begin the live life proclaiming “I believe! I Believe!” Then acknowledging the full pain of our brokenness we experience the joy of noticing that now Jesus is building us and putting us together according to His divine design for our lives.
  • An interesting reflection on jigsaws at this link.
  • Pray to Sleep (a ten minute bedtime audio reflection) at this link.
  • Today’s readings at this link.
  • Send your prayer requests to Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to this list. Take a moment, perhaps 15 seconds, to pray in whatever way you choose for those whose initials appear below, and don’t hesitate to send repeat requests for prayer. 

Let us pray today (Thursday) especially for:   MH,  FS,  HW,  EFF,  MC,  MC,  AF,  ML,  FK,  RM,  KR,  GA,  DC,  MH,   NT (RIP),  MC,  NJK (RIP),  TG,  CD,  PB,  

Just received news of terminal illness.  Woman who has a malignant tumor and today she’ll have a better picture of her health status. Prayers for my family please, Young man suffering loneliness and receiving bullying. Prayer for my business employees in these difficult days.  Struggling with exams. Suffering a fall from grace and loss of reputation. Struggling from serious depression which has placed me on leave.

Wednesday:  MC,  PH,  JH,  SH,  MC,  MH,  MD,  AF,  MO,  CM,  SES,  CO,  DC (RIP at weekend) & for CC wife. TC, TL,  VH,  CD,  XD,  CP,  MK,

Tuesday: AS,  DD, BD,  WC,  KJ,  PG, CG,  PR,  SG,  PB.  FF,  JC,  BO,  PM,  MD,  

Monday:  AL,  MM, SIM,  TP,  PB,  JL,  AP,  MM,  WP,  TEP,  LP,  JD,  MD,  SL,  PM,  JK,  SB,  BW,  LC,  RS,  EC,  KN,  JP,  IF,  TP,  TP,  MW,  JN,  SN,  

Sunday:  SP,  PB,  BH,  JJ,  KB,  DM,  GL (RIP last Tuesday)  JT,  

Saturday:   CM,  OP,  GC,  GS,  ES,  MLAH,  CS,  HC,  DC,  DU,   DMC,  FTM,  JS,  SD, MD, CM, TD. MM,   ZM,   LM,   SD,   JD,  LD,  AD. DC,  ME,, CE,  KC,  LC,  BC,  KC,  BC,

Friday:  LS (RIP),  AR,  TT,  BP,  MP,  PP,  GTD (RIP2015),  PB,  LM,  JK,  MK,  TJO, LB, DD, JRA,  FL, JU,   SLJ.  SLJ. JJJ.  MPJ,  JPM, MLFJ, MD,

Last week:   SLJ,  JJJ,  RM,  SJ,  SF, SLJ,  JS,  FS,  MD,  GPD,  JMC,  AM & I,  MS,  MC, MR,  JCP,  MON,  SS,  MS, OD, ND, CD, JD, JD & KJ,  EJH,  ARO,  JS,  FS,  SF,  GJG (RIP),  JDG,  MD,  CGW,  SD,  TK,  JK,  RF,  GN,  OP,  GC, TN,  MC,  KJ,  SL,  AN, JMT,  KJ,   MD,  PM, MC, DP,  KD, AD,  BA,  RF,  MC,  PR,  JH,  GPB,AD, NF, PR, GPB,  BA, MA (RIP), LM,  SB,  MO’D,  S&SW,  DMcA,  SS, VM, PM, NM, BB,  BR, RM, IW,  BL,  AM, JM, SM, JH, CSL, BS, AW,  MR, SR, JC, LR, JF, AB, AB, MB, CB, LJ, AF, JB, CB, SB, MB (RIP), MR, MH, SR, RS, MTM, OH, MM (RIP),  SGS.  MC,  EH,  MAC, NDM,  JG, SL, JD,   AJ,  MLJ,  SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP,  GRJP,  JF, IC, RF,  JC,  LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG,  GC, AW,  DM,  MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)AJ,  MLJ,  SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP,  GRJP,  JF, IC, RF,  JC,  LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG,  GC, AW,  DM,  MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP),  SS, BK, JKBP, CP, PP, BW, HT (RIP), SL, AW, DM, MM, PM, LH, TN, SF, SC, FM, T&TT, AR, HF, RF, JM, R&B, MC, MD,BH, SGS, JJHB, SJB, BB, MD, MB,  JT,  RF,  SS,  SS,  PB,  SD,  JR,  SQ,  JL, MCSM,  PR,  MJ,  MD,  SM,  PR,  MJ,  MD,



Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to

Today’s church:  Holy Name Church in Ashburton.

Thursday Easter Week VI (15 minutes) 

Thursday Easter Week VI  (25 minutes)



  1. Thank you John for your generosity in gifting us during Lockdown. Your Reflections have been inspirational and nourishing, encouraging and challenging. I trust you too have been nourished in preparing them as a gift needs to be mutual if we are to grow through it.
    I pray you feel blessed and deeply loved by God.
    In gratitude Judith Anne.

  2. I am very grateful, Fr John, for the time and effort you put into these reflections. It is helpful to read a sharing that is current and relevant to what we are experiencing at this time. God has used you to encourage many people and I pray that He will bless you abundantly.

  3. Thanks Father John for your reflection on brokenness. You’ve helped me admit that, while I am feeling broken at the moment, it is not a bad thing and indeed can be turned to good. Jesus seems to be able to do more with those who don’t hide their brokenness. I’m feeling less like a smashed light bulb and more like a jigsaw piece waiting to be placed, perfectly fitting, into a beautiful bigger picture.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I have been richly blessed by your daily postings.
    May you be richly blessed too.

  5. Thankyou Father John for your generous sharing of rich insights that have been a blessing to myself and others. This has taken time and effort on your part and it is greatly appreciated. May God continue to bless you as you have blessed so many.
    Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.

  6. Thank you John, for being with us on this Easter journey. How appropriate that we should near its closure with awareness of the importance of brokenness. I look for comfort in my faith, but know that times of brokeness have been preparation for new growth. God empties us and then moves in, What we need in times of brokeness, are friends who will support us. You have supported many in prayer this Easter.

  7. Thank you Father John for these reflections, bless you. Some of them have landed on exactly the days they needed to and really lifted me and given me a way to process my troubles in the love of God’s grace.

  8. Very real gratitude for FFF and your massive efforts Fr John it’s hard to put into words just how special this time of FFF each day has been . Thank you thank thank you please return to us . Knowing Jesus more and more has been wonderful to daily life .

  9. Father John, your reflections over these past few months have been right on the button & so timely at times. I have been receiving your FFF for a few years & they mean so much to me since my Wife passed away in 2015. God bless you for your dedication I getting the word out to us.

  10. Thank you Fr. John…. i’ve Read and absorbed every one of your messages. Now , whenever I see a jig saw puzzle I’ll remember your excellent analogy. May God ‘S richest blessings land in your worthy lap …… keep me on your mailing list please.

  11. Each time I pray with one of the weekday emails, I think of a little prayer card that someone once gave me with the message, “Bloom where you’re planted!” Your emails and especially the Lectio Divina have helped me to bloom a little in my “neck of the woods!” I am sure you will recognise the message in your move from Christchurch to Auckland. Many grateful thanks for your work and please keep blooming!

  12. Thank you Fr John for the beautiful reflections. I love them. The Lord has
    blessed me with His irresistible grace whenever I ponder over yr reflections.


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