Many of the parishes around our Diocese celebrate First Holy Communion on this day – which seems like a lovely idea, given the name of the Solemnity with which we conclude the liturgical year. But I am intrigued about the disjuncture between the apparent theme of the liturgy and the strong and provocative images that are always presented by the liturgy. Today is no exception. Although Paul begins his prayer reflection in our second reading with the high and exalted language that describes Jesus as “the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation…” Yet Paul knows that the only way that Jesus was able to reconcile all things through him and for him – everything in heaven and everything on earth – is through the peace that he brought about through his death of the cross.
And this is the heart of our faith. It is only in and through the cross of Jesus that anything that we profess or believe begins to make sense. It is what we have been celebrating all year with the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis inaugurated and which has challenged us to continue to be caught up in the flow of forgiveness and mercy. We considered this in more depth during the season of Lent as we reflected in the series on Moving Mercy. Today we are invited to move deeper into the experience and reality of mercy that is still available for each of our lives.
Recorded at St Paul’s, 7.30am (11mins 20)
Sunday 34, Year C: Christ, the universal king
Luke 23:35-43; Col 1:12-20.