November 26 - Aotearoa Sunday

Vicar’s Reflection: November 26th 2017 AOTEAROA / CHRIST THE KING

The legend of William Tell teaches us that the arrow that splits the apple must begin its journey with the same accuracy as at the end. Endings and beginnings shape us. The end of one stage of life means the beginning of another. This Sunday marks the end of the liturgical year. Next Sunday 3 December, marks the beginning of Advent and the new liturgical year. This Sunday carries the weight of two observances: Firstly, Aotearoa Sunday reminds us of the appointment of the first Maori Bishop, Frederick Augustus Bennett in 1928 as an assistant Bishop of Waiapu until the establishment of the Diocese of Aotearoa. Maori Anglicans were enabled by this beginning to shape their own future as a church. Today the Maori Anglican church includes five Hui Amorangi (Dioceses). Secondly, the Feast of Christ the King, as a major Feast of the Church, was established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. He was concerned about the rise of Fascism and other secular ideologies in Italy and the world. He established this Feast to make a bold statement of the supremacy of Christ. It is now widely accepted as a Feast to especially encourage lay people to resist the evils of totalitarian humanist movements. It is fitting that these beginnings that are strong declarations of Christian liberty are marked at the end of the year. May we go on as we have begun, in partnership with God, bringing these beginnings to completion.

Alex Czerwonka

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