The Catholic Parish of Christchurch South

Living in the Heart of God

In June we are going to meet our 15 month old granddaughter for the first time ‘in the flesh’. We can’t wait! Phone and facetime have been great, but we just want her to be with us, to hold her and hug her and tell her stories, and to have her as part of our lives.

I can understand the disciples need to have Jesus back with them, physically present, in the flesh. Despite all that he had told them, and how much he had prepared them for this, they still wanted him to be with them.

In the number of stories of his appearance after his resurrection, Jesus reassures his disciples that he is truly present, that he hasn’t deserted them, that they can see, hear and touch him and eat with him. He opens their minds to the scriptures, reminding them of what he told them. He breaks bread with them reminding them of what he did with them. But Pentecost is still some way off for them, until they will be prepared to let go of the enfleshed Jesus and acknowledge God’s presence in their hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus understands their doubts and fears and in today’s Gospel reminds them that they can trust their God-given minds and senses; they can trust their memories, the scripture, and they can trust him.

Many of us have had the advantages of decades of Easters and Pentecosts and a faith nurtured in families and caring parish communities; fed by Eucharist and scripture; tested in trials and troubles.  But we are created human beings not angels, and we still crave the reassurance of God’s love and God’s presence in our lives.

The irony is that we don’t exist apart from God: it is in God that ‘we live and move and have our being’. It is often our inattention, or our failure to recognise God’s presence in the daily messiness of our lives and in the world and people around us, that can give a semblance of distance.

Yet in our reflective moments, either at the end of the day, or looking back over a difficult time, we can sometimes acknowledge that intangible but pervading sense of God’s presence. And at other times, when we really bring all our senses to it  – at Eucharist, or driving through Lindis Pass or hugging a grandchild – we are left in no doubt that we are indeed living our lives in the heart of God.


Joanne Hope
Coordinator of Pastoral Care



The Catholic Parish of Christchurch South would like to invite you to The Search.

The Search is a multi-part, video based spiritual experience. The Search features scientists, artists, philosophers, and
other people from all walks of life proclaiming how their searches for meaning in life led them to Jesus and the Gospel. But The Search is not meant just to be watched, The Search is to be watched and discussed in the context of a faith community.
The first session is on the 4th of May.

Sign up if you are interested using the following link