GOD IS FAMILY, GOD AND FAMILY

Apr 1, 2020

Overview of April theme.  FOR A MORE DETAILED OVERVIEW GO TO ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,God, as Trinity is a family and every human family, not only as individuals but as a unit, is an image of God and mirrors the relationship of the Trinity. St Francis in his Canticle to the Sun, praises God in these words:   We praise you Lord for all your creatures, for brother sun, sister moon, brother fire, sister water, mother earth and all creation. To you, O Lord, do they belong, you created them and they bear your likeness.”  LS1     These inanimate creations through their existence offer their praise. Humankind is especially gifted with the additional power of understanding, to love but to hurt and to forgive because of love. Through bearing pain, in a unique way we offer honour and gratitude to the Trinity. And yet, how has the image of the Trinity been disfigured as fire, water and wind have now become such destructive forces? How have we contributed to this?  Are we ready to repair the damage?

Within the family which could be called a domestic church individuals enter upon an ecclesial experience of communion among persons which reflects, through grace, the mystery of the Holy Trinity.  AL86

Setting the Scene. At this time of writing, shortly before the end of March it seems as if the world has gone on hold.  The focus is more on people rather than creation and yet the cause of the devastation that is affecting everyone and everything is a natural phenomenon, a tiny virus.  Our country, South Africa, like many others is about to go into lock-down to attempt flatten the curve, i.e. to slow down the infection rate of the Covid-19 virus.  The pandemic is only 3 months old but no one is yet clear about the future. Nearly 500 000 people have already been affected, some have died and more are recovering.  Countries are employing various measures to protect lives and cushion the effects on economies.  God cannot be left out of the equation. The faith factor, churches and the variety of religions have had to suspend traditional and very precious Easter celebrations.  However, God remains very much present, ideally  also in each family and home.

April 1.  Serving God.  Members of the family faith sharing groups shared on the readings of the day. “Whether it is fiery serpents or a fiery furnace,” Mrs Kay said, “the Old Testament stories in the liturgy of this time really do talk about God’s power over the elements.  Today’s story is of three brave young men condemned to death by King Nebuchadnezzar because of their faithfulness to God and their refusal to worship other local gods. Earthly kings and rulers should rule justly but some can tempt and control us even diverting us from the true God.  When the corona virus first hit us most churches believed it was correct to follow the government directives but there were some pastors, almost with a different kind of faith and very strong control over their people encouraged them to disobey.  People have to decide for themselves in all circumstances what serving God really means.

The three youths, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to the king, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of your hand, O King.  Daniel 3:17.    Pope Francis.  Pastoral ministry seeks to help believers to grow spiritually so that they can respond to God’s love ever more fully in their lives.  EG 15.

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