MARCH THEME:  FAMILY RIGHTS DO MATTER. The family is much more than a mere legal, social and economic unit, but is a community of love and solidarity. It is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development and well-being of its own members and of society.  Charter of Family Rights. E.  Pontifical Council for the Family 1983.

March 7th.  Jonathan had done his homework. “The Constitution of a country does not belong to any political party but to every citizen.   That might be forgotten when elections come up and with all political parties  lobbying for their own policies and interpretations of the law.  Our bishops dialogue with the state to promote pro-family, pro-life policies for the good of the whole of our society. In deciding on their vote Catholics, especially young first-time voters, are also challenged to take this into account.”

Moses said, “I have taught you statutes and ordinances as the Lord my God commanded me.  Keep them and do them for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples.”  Deut 4:2-3. Pope Francis:  Families have a right to be able to count on an adequate family policy on the part of public authorities.  At times families suffer terribly when faced with the illness of a loved one they lack access to adequate health are or struggle to find dignified employment  AL 44

March 10th. You know I wonder whether we make too much of a fuss about liturgy, making things nice in church and singing beautifully,”  Mercy shared.  “Why would that be a problem” others asked, “Isn’t our first task as Church to offer worship?”  “Maybe not when there are families struggling with relationships, people out of work, abuse and poverty.  Why does God say to the prophet Hosea, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6. Pope Francis:  “Let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth.” John spells out God’s way clearly.  It stands on two pillars: God loved us first  and he loved us by giving completely of himself, even to laying down his life. Message for 1st World Day of the Poor.

March 11th. Lent 4B.  Gaudete Sunday. Fr Joseph said, “I said we would focus on God’s love and mercy even in the light of punishment.   The readings today do that. In the 1st reading God attempts to call the leaders of the people to turn from their corrupt ways.  As they refuse to listen God punishes the people and they are taken away into exile. After a time God uses Cyrus a new king to allow them to return.  Corrupt leaders are a  problem in our day too. Will God again hold the world accountable and punish us? But, God’s mercy and love are shown. God’s own son, Jesus is given to us to save us. Read those passages carefully and share your response to God’s great love. Thank the Father and thank Jesus too for their commitment to us. This is the joyful, true ubuntu message of this Sunday we call Gaudete Sunday.

God so loved the world that he gave his only –begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. Pope Francis:  In all families the Good News needs to resound in good times and in bad as a source of light on the way. All of us should be able to say, thanks to the experience of our life in the family   AL 290

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