Fr George added a special family focus to his homily on the feast of the Ascension which was also Mothers’ Day. He explained, “The 40 days from Easter uses a symbolic number which means a certain length of time. This time was used by Jesus to continue teaching the apostles and preparing them for when he would return to the Father. He promised not to leave them orphans but to send a helper to carry out their commission to go out and evangelise. Families are the first evangelisers. Together with and through the Spirit they spread the Good News of God’s love to those within and then beyond the family. Parental love by both mothers and fathers, or by those playing this role is their own unique way for doing this. How else will children understand that God is a loving parent? All mothers are especially honoured today and that includes everyone who has been a mom, a foster or adoptive mom.
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
Pope Francis: Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centred individualism. It is they who testify to the beauty of life. A society without mothers would be dehumanised for even in the worst of times they are witness to tenderness, dedication and moral strength. AL 174
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY. The theme for the annual Christian Unity week is “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power.” The reflections have been prepared by the churches of the Caribbean and the focus is on that region where Christianity was brought by missionaries. It is reported that with few exceptions many collaborated with colonisers in enslaving and dehumanising people, depriving them of their rights and dignity. Today Caribbean Christians of many different traditions see the hand of God active in the ending of enslavement. It is a uniting experience of the saving action of God which brings freedom. For this reason the choice of the song of Moses and Miriam (Ex 15:1-21), as the motif of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018 was considered most appropriate. The programme was developed with the local churches and is presented by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and other denominations. Download the programme with background information and reflections from www.vatican.va As many of the realities, racism, xenophobia and human trafficking are particular concerns in South Africa at this time too, this programme is very relevant in the SA context. In many families there are also different religions and different practices. These reflections are an opportunity and invitation to pray and reflect together in homes and groups.
May 13th . Day 1: You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Prayer. Eternal God,
You belong to no culture and land but are Lord of all, you call us to welcome the stranger in our midst.
Help us by your Spirit,to live as brothers and sisters,
welcoming all in your name, and living in the justice of your kingdom. This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The right hand of God is planting in our land,
planting seeds of freedom, hope and love;
in these many-peopled lands, let his children all join hands,
and be one with the right hand of God.