Waitangi Day is a day for remembering promises made and hopes expressed, and also a day for remembering promises broken and noticing wounds that are still healing, Cardinal John Dew told the Archdiocese of Wellington Waitangi Day Mass on February 6, celebrated at St Mary of the Angels in Wellington city.
Taking inspiration from Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti on fraternal love, Cardinal Dew invited the congregation to listen to the Gospel of the Good Samaritan with new ears.
“I’m sure we would all like to think we would be the Good Samaritan, stepping in to offer comfort and healing, that means noticing a situation that requires healing. Perhaps more often than we wish to acknowledge, in our busy-ness, we still pass by without noticing unhealed historic pain.”
Cardinal Dew drew the attention of the congregation to the words used in the Eucharistic Prayer (for various needs IV) “Jesus went about doing good”: “ . . . may your church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, that all people may be raised to a new hope.”
“On this Waitangi Day, our deepest desire is that the Gospel guide us towards the true partnership, dialogue and community that the promise of Waitangi Day offers us,” Cardinal Dew concluded his homily.
The annual Mass, which is hosted by the parishes of Te Ngākau Tapu and St Mary of the Angels, combines Māori and Latin chant, together with Prayers of the Faithful in eight languages of the community.
A highlight of the Mass for many is the joint singing of Pater Noster and E tō mātou Matua i te rangi to produce a bilingual and bicultural Our Father. The Archdiocese of Wellington’s 2017 Synod included recommendations on deepening bicultural relationships, including that parishes engage with Māori to further develop biculturalism in liturgy.