The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
(William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, spoken by Portia, IV, i, 184-187).
These words suggest that true mercy flows and is given freely. It is characterised by gentleness and availability. Contemplating art is one way of observing mercy and being receptive to the quality of mercy in one’s own life and community.
We begin this week with Jesus reminding us that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will teach us everything, and remind us of all that he has said. This can only happen if we immerse ourselves in the scriptures, and then in our tradition. And if we do this, then peace will be given to us, a peace the world cannot give. This is Jesus’ gift to us.
The First Reading of the Sunday Masses of the Easter Season have been taken from the Acts of the Apostles and provide us with many insights into the life of the early Christian Church following Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples.
As we welcome everyone back to the second term of the school year, I am struck by the fact that the commemoration of our ANZAC traditions has bookended our term one school holidays. Term one ended with schools engaging in various activities to honour our servicemen and servicewomen, and our return to school and commencement of Term 2 follows the commemoration services held in our communities.
In John’s Gospel which we read last weekend, Jesus charges Peter with looking after and feeding his lambs and sheep. In this week’s very short Gospel from John, Jesus impels us to listen to his voice and to follow:
On the third Sunday of Easter, we encounter the disciples of Jesus, attempting to return to their old lives. Their hope in Jesus being the Messiah was abandoned as they returned to fishing. Their fear, grief and shock took them back to the way they were.
On Tuesday 29th March, while eating my breakfast and reading The Newcastle Herald, in the Business section I came across an article, “Having the right tribe is key to success”, written by Belinda Smith, a freelance writer and former Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year.