On Wednesday night I celebrated mass at Nungalinya College. This was the last mass before the Christmas break.
As we gathered for mass there were people present from Wadeye, the Tiwi Islands, Central Australia and Daly River and some others.
I was asked to remember two people who had died. One was the niece of one of the people present. She was a young 19 year old who had been killed in Darwin this week.
This was a truly tragic situation. Many of those present knew her and were visibly shaken by the experience.
The other was a man from Garden Point who played at mass regularly and was a valued part of the community. His funeral mass had been at the Darwin Cathedral that same morning.
Some present were closely related to him.
The Gospel at mass was about the blind, the lame and many others needing a cure, coming to Jesus for healing.
As I reflected with the community, we spoke about Jesus our healer.
What a year this has been with the Covid-19 virus and the effects it has had on the lives of so many! There has be much upheaval and violence in many communities.
Then there was the experience of the two deaths. We also reflected on other personal and family challenges that we encountered.
Jesus was inviting us all to share in his suffering and death because he shares in our suffering and pain and death. We are also invited to share in his resurrection.
As the Eucharist progressed and we blessed and broke the bread and consecrated the wine there was a deep sense of peace.
The peace of the Holy Spirit was inviting us to open our hearts to the peace of Christ.
It was a special time. I felt a deep connection with those around me, a bond of love.
What a wonderful gift Jesus gave us in the Eucharist where we can truly ‘remember’ him.
This is a remembrance that brings about a transformation in us. It is a remembrance that leads us into the experience and reality that the sacramental signs signify.
We move from darkness to light, from sadness to hope, from death to life.
Thank God for Jesus Christ! He is our way, our truth, our life!