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Bishop Steve Lowe
Bishop Steve Lowe added 3 new photos.May 28th, 2016 at 9:58pm
Today at the Church of St Mary Immaculate, Tauranga we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Deacon Sid Wells who was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich, UK on the 25th of May 1991 by Bishop Alan Clark

Deacon Sid, as a deacon you have and will continue to serve Jesus Christ, who was known among his disciples as the one who served others. Do the will of God generously. Serve God and humanity in love and joy.

Never turn away from the hope which the Gospel offers; Continue to not only listen to God's word but also preach it. Hold the mystery of faith with a clear conscience. Express in action what you proclaim by word of mouth. Then the people of Christ, brought to life by the Spirit, will be an offering God accepts. Finally, on the last day, when you go to meet the Lord, you will hear him say "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." (paraphrased from the Homily a Bishop may use at Diaconate Ordination).

And we too say to you Deacon Sid, Well done good and faithful servant!
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Bishop Steve Lowe
Bishop Steve LoweMay 28th, 2016 at 9:58pm
Love is at the service of others

The next word that Paul uses is chrestéuetai. The word is used only here in the entire Bible. It is derived from chrestós: a good person, one who shows his goodness by his deeds. Here, in strict parallelism with the preceding verb, it serves as a complement. Paul wants to make it clear that “patience” is not a completely passive attitude, but one accompanied by activity, by a dynamic and creative interaction with others. The word indicates that love benefits and helps others. For this reason it is translated as “kind”; love is ever ready to be of assistance.

Throughout the text, it is clear that Paul wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling. Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb “to love”; it is “to do good”. As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love is shown more by deeds than by words”.106 It thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving.
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Bishop Steve Lowe
Bishop Steve LoweMay 28th, 2016 at 9:58pm
Pope Francis recently published his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia on love in the family. In it he has reflected on St Paul writing to the Corinthians about love. This is a reading we often here at weddings. But so often, because it is talking about love we put it "out there" it becomes something outside us. St John says "God is love" so trying looking at the verse below and replacing "love" with "God." Of course you and I are made in God's image and called to grow in God's likeness. So try replacing "love" with your own name. I hope over the next week or so you will enjoy reflecting on love and our call to grow in love so that we may grow in God. So, over to Pope Francis...

Our daily love

In a lyrical passage of Saint Paul, we see some of the features of true love:

“Love is patient,
love is kind;
love is not jealous or boastful;
it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way,
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong,
but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7).

Love is experienced and nurtured in the daily life of couples and their children. It is helpful to think more deeply about the meaning of this Pauline text and its relevance for the concrete situation of every family.

Love is patient

The first word used (in Greek) is makrothyméi. This does not simply have to do with “enduring all things”, because we find that idea expressed at the end of the seventh verse. Its meaning is clarified by the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where we read that God is “slow to anger” (Ex 34:6; Num 14:18). It refers, then, to the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense. We find this quality in the God of the Covenant, who calls us to imitate him also within the life of the family. Saint Paul’s texts using this word need to be read in the light of the Book of Wisdom (cf. 11:23; 12:2, 15-18), which extols God’s restraint, as leaving open the possibility of repentance, yet insists on his power, as revealed in his acts of mercy. God’s “patience”, shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power.

Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us. We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds. That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31). Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like. (AL 90-92)
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Bishop Steve Lowe
Bishop Steve Lowe shared The Free World Charter's photo.May 28th, 2016 at 9:58pm
So easily by a post like this we can be horrified on one level but so easily turn a blind on another... When we start to look at our own values, at what we take for granted, at what we think is normal and compare that to so many others in the world are we any better than NASA and its search for water on Mars. I wonder how many people today's coffee would feed in some of the poorer parts of our human family.
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Bishop Steve Lowe
Bishop Steve Lowe added 10 new photos from May 22 at 3:00am.May 28th, 2016 at 9:58pm
It was a full church at St Peter's Maketu for the installation of Acolytes Doug Rewi, Ben Pomare and John Limrick as they continue their journey towards ordination as Permanent Deacons...

God of mercy, through your only Son
you entrusted the bread of life to your Church.
Bless + our brothers who have been chosen for the ministry of acolyte.
Grant that they may be faithful in the service of your altar
and in giving to others the bread of life;
may they grow always in faith and love, and so build up your Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
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