experiencing

Apr 9, 2023

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Consider the range of emotions that the disciples of Jesus moved through over the days of his final suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. Such extremes of emotion cannot be imagined or pondered with disinterest. They must be experienced.

And experience is the key to understanding the Holy Week–Easter event since Christian faith is not primarily an historical religion.

Yes, Christianity did begin with a real historical event: God became human in Jesus (the Incarnation). In Jesus God lived and breathed, he walked and worked. He loved and was loved. He was hated and he suffered before being put to death as a criminal.

These were all actual historical events.

But with the Easter event in which God raises Jesus from death we are able to experience Jesus Christ as a living and present event – God-with-us, living, breathing, walking and working, giving and receiving love, and suffering and dying before being raised to the life for which he and we are created.

Jesus is for us today a real and living presence able to be experienced and verified in our own experience today.

What does this mean, to speak of Jesus as living and present, a contemporary experience?

In our own lives we have experienced death. We have also experienced life.

There are days when we feel like death and we cannot see the way ahead. Anxiety and depression threaten to overwhelm us. The nights can be long. We lie awake in interminable darkness. This feels like death and our darkness entombs us.

And then, at last, comes dawn.

Now that we are celebrating Easter the church gives us eight Easter Sundays in a row, the Octave of Easter. 

I’m happy that we have this Easter Octave since I need all the help I can get to digest the impact of the resurrection of Jesus in my life today.

So these daily FFF reflection will continue fo this Easter week, concluding next Sunday.

You might like to join me in making this Easter week a form of “retreat in daily life” taking time for prayer, perhaps ten minutes two or three times each day of this week.

I know that Jesus, risen and present, will not miss the opportunity to work miracles for those who seek Him in this week.

Let us seek him together, perhaps using the FFF Prayer Wall to pray with and for each other at this link.

A couple of Easter invitations…

  • I have been asked by a number of people to publish a collection of Food For Faith reflections from across the years. I have resisted going to print since there are already enough good books on spiritual growth and maturity on the market. But the persistence of a good number has won and currently a collection of FFF reflections is ready for the printer. BUT...I am very aware that my reflections work only because of your engagement.  Therefore I want to include sentences and brief paragraphs from readers in the book, not thanking me but jotting a thought or two about how FFF has helped your maturity of faith in Jesus Christ, God-with-us. So, write anything at all about how FFF has helped your maturity of faith and email it to me at john@fff.org.nz. I will include your first name and perhaps your town or country. I can’t guarantee that everything you send will make it to print, but I will do my best since I know your brief reflections will encourage the faith of others.
  • Secondly this FFF mission works because of your engagement and the enthusiasm with which you share this with others. Please keep the mission in your prayer and tell others about FFF.
  • And finally today since this is the last week for daily reflections FFF reflections and easy advertising of the cafe-catch-ups you might like to initiate a gathering. The worst thing that can happen is that you spend some time alone, relaxing and waiting for someone to turn up, but that doesn’t seem to happen. People appear. Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz, scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.

Thank you.
In Christ

Image above:
Ria Bancroft

Tabernacle Doors from Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch

FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.

DROP IN FOR A CHAT:

Monday 10 April 2023 (and every Monday)
10.00am at Moko (Kudos) in the Bush Inn Centre Christchurch (Directions) Trish

Tuesday 11 April 2023 (and second Tuesday of every month)
10.30am at Zenders 44 Hopkins Road, Newstead, Hamilton (Directions). Christina

Thursday 13 April 2023
10.30am at Zest Cafe Greeton 187 Chadwick Rd, Tauranga. (Directions) Frances

Monday 17 April 2023 
11.00am at The Cafe at Harrisons, 23 Peka Peka Rd. Waikanae Beach. Catherine.

Sunday 23 April 2023 
11.00am at The Bakehouse 74 Main Street, Fairlie.  (Directions) Fr. Tien Cao.

Thursday 27 April 2023
10.30am at Zest Cafe Greeton 187 Chadwick Rd, Tauranga. (Directions) Frances

+++

14 Comments

  1. I look forward to “retreat” this week with you, thank you.

    Reply
    • Amen Gods blessing on you Father John blessed Easter to you thank you for your inspiration look forward to 8next week

      Reply
  2. He is Lord
    He is Lord
    He has risen from the dead and He is Lord
    Every knee shall bend
    Every tongue confess
    That Jesus Christ is Lord

    Happy Easter everyone

    Reply
  3. Thank you Father John for these thought provoking reflections. They have helped me to experience Lent in a deeper way and led me to the resurrection of Jesus not only for us but in us. In me!

    Reply
  4. I have enjoyed reading and contemplating the daily reflections they have made my Lenten journey more meaningful Thankyou.

    Reply
  5. A blessed Easter John and each and all.

    I am struck by a phrase in morning prayer “glad earth shouts in triumph”

    May that be true for Ukraine… and our damaged earth…

    ☀️

    Reply
  6. Happy Easter Fr John and thank you for FFF. Lately I have been sending it on to my Presbyterian friend.

    Reply
  7. Happy & blessed Easter Fr John – your FFF has been my daily Lenten inspiration- thank you

    Reply
  8. ‘Ineed all the help I can to digest the impact of the resurrection of Jesus in my life today ‘ These words spoke to my heart Fr John so looking forward to having a daily retreat this Easter week .Thank you and blessings.

    Reply
  9. Happy happy Easter Father John, and a blessed Easter week ahead, thank you for your wisdom and teaching over the weeks of Lent

    Reply
  10. Thankyou Father John for your “care” through food for faith this Lent. It has uplifted my spirits and to attend a Mass on Easter Sunday with fellow parishioners was the “icing on the cake.” God Bless you.

    Reply
  11. Thank you Fr John the Lenten reflections have been outstanding. I look forward to listening to them each night. Happy Easter

    Reply
  12. Happy Easter & Many Blessings Fr John. Thank you for the FFF and so glad you are publishing a book – it saves me being one more who asks.

    Reply
  13. Didn’t get a FFF reflection yesterday or today – I thought Fr John was continuing them for Easter Week. Really appreciate this ministry – grounded in our everyday life in Aotearoa NZ, inspiring us to look beyond ourselves to the wider world.

    Reply

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