What a lovely reading for us to contemplate on the weekend as we heard from the Gospel of John (15:1-8), the parable of the vinedresser and the careful cutting back, trimming and pruning of the vine in order for it to produce a rich yield. This should mean a great deal to us who live in the Hunter, surrounded by a great expanse of vines. The vinedresser just removes the bare minimum, with great care, in order to make the vine healthy and able to produce a rich harvest.
I am conscious that many of you will be reading this message on Anzac Day and, of course, in 2018 we remember that it is 100 years since World War I ended. I have no doubt that the theme for this week’s Sunday readings – The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep – resonates with each of us when we remember those who laid down their lives to protect the place they call home, and that world peace was attainable.
I imagine that many of you have a sense that when we gather for Mass we can become overwhelmed by the number of words that are spoken and sung in our liturgy. Most of it can wash over us as our minds wander and our bodies grow restless. And so there are times when I find myself hearing words for the first time, possibly because I have been mentally constructing this message to you over many days.
Once again this message is being written on a Monday. My weekend was a full one. Allen and I spent Saturday in Sydney with Allen’s dad, as we share caring for him, along with Allen’s brothers and sister. Palm Sunday was taken up with meeting the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People (DCMYP) at Kilaben Bay, followed by the Way of the Cross and then choir practice for this week’s Chrism Mass.