Reflecting on the scriptures for the Third Sunday of Easter, May 01 are Triona Doocey, Maya Bernardo and Laurel Lanner. They join John O’Connor in today’s Homily studio podcast.
Most people think of the Ascension of Jesus as being a ‘departure’ moment. Jesus was here and now he is gone. We imagine Jesus going up into the clouds and the disciples waving farewell from below.
This is an unhelpful image.
It is essential that we understand what does happen and what does not happen in the Ascension event.
It would be easy to wrongly think that in his ministry showed us how to build the city of God on earth, and now he has gone and the mission is left to us.
The betrayals of Peter and judas have occurred in different contexts of the church throughout history. But Peter recognised that God’s love for him was bigger than his denials and Judas ran away because he thought he could not be forgiven and have God’s love open up again for him. However, I would not agree that it is just a matter of shame for the church to be ‘gone’ from the sexual abuse crimes. (though shame and humiliation have been inflicted on survivors). There is a social justice context for the church as these acts were crimes against their own . This was reinforced by Peter’s successor just a couple of days ago when Pope Francis commented to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that the injuries from sexual abuse can be permanent. He added that the ‘protection and care of those who have experienced abuse may become normative in every sector of the Church’s life’ and that the church should establish ‘suitable centres where individuals who have experienced abuse, and their family members, can find acceptance and an attentive hearing, and be accompanied in a process of healing and justice.” The Church is now trying to heal the injuries in Aotearoa-New Zealand but The Government’s response to the Royal Commission of Abuse in Care (Read It) will be bigger than anything the Church can do. That is the real shame.