Earlier this term I was diagnosed with early breast cancer and have spent part of the term undergoing surgeries to remove a small tumour and to be in preparation for upcoming treatment. I write to let you know that I am very well, quite healthy, and tumour free following the surgeries, although there will be some challenging times ahead as I undertake a significant treatment regime including chemotherapy. This will limit my time at the College, in short stints, for a while. I have been humbled by the support of the staff, the College Board and Mary Aikenhead Ministries and have felt the presence of God significantly in my life over the last few weeks. I have faith in the power of prayer and would humbly ask that you keep me in yours as I undertake treatment to ensure that I remain cancer free well into the future. Some of you may be aware that we have several families in our community who are travelling the same journey with a loved one. We hold each person closely and pray that with the love and support of their families and friends, and with their faith in God, they will be able to navigate the journey that they are undertaking.
I would urge all women to undergo regular self-examination, as this was how I discovered my lump. For women over 50, I would strongly encourage you to access the BreastScreen free breast screening service. Both methods are proactive ways that we can look after our own health, to ensure that we are around for our families for a long time to come.
The end of the Term One holidays will also see us celebrating the most significant events in our Christian Calendar, the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter Triduum enables us to reflect not only on the death and resurrection moments in our own lives, but also on the love that Jesus showed for humankind in his willingness to enter in God’s plan for him, and God’s love for humanity in the promise of the resurrection. The extract below is from renowned theologian Dr Ron Rolheiser, a Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate priest. He reflects on what it means when we say Jesus takes away the sin of the world, a belief we proclaim during each mass when we say: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
How Jesus Takes Away the Sin of The World
Jesus takes away the sin of the world away by transforming it, by changing it, by taking it inside of himself and transmuting it. We see examples of this throughout his entire life, although it is most manifest in the love and forgiveness he shows at the time of his death.
In simple language, Jesus took away the sin of the community by taking in hatred and giving back love; by taking in anger and giving out graciousness; by taking in envy and giving back blessing; by taking in bitterness and giving out warmth; by taking in pettiness and giving back compassion; by taking in chaos and giving back peace; and by taking in sin and giving back forgiveness.
This is not an easy thing to do. What comes naturally is to give back in kind: hatred for hatred, anger for anger, coldness for coldness, revenge for hurt. Someone hits us so we hit back.
This dynamic is not just something we are asked to admire in Jesus. The incarnation is meant to be ongoing. We are asked to continue to give flesh to God, to continue to do what Jesus did. Thus our task too is to help take away the sin of the world.
We do this whenever we take in hatred, anger, envy, pettiness, and bitterness, hold them, transmute them, and eventually give them back as love, graciousness, blessing, compassion, warmth, and forgiveness.
As we enter the term break, I wish you all a very safe and restful break and I hope to see many of you join us on Sunday, 14 April as we pray and walk together for Justice for Refugees. A reminder of the details is below:
Cardinal Knox Centre
383 Albert St, East Melbourne
(Enter via the Lansdowne St Car Park).
Light refreshments will be served from 12.30 pm by the event organisers and the prayer and reflection will begin at 1.00 pm. We will join the Walk for Justice for Refugees at 2.00 pm at the State Library of Victoria.
You can either meet us at Essendon station at 11.30 am to get the train in together, or meet at the Cardinal Knox Centre at 12.30 pm. Alternatively, you could join us when we arrive at the State Library at around 2.00 pm. Please email Renee Fleeton to register your interest: email@example.com