February 21. Welcoming the rainbow after the storm David wondered, “South Africa likes to see itself as the Rainbow Nation and we have borrowed the image from this Bible story about Noah and the Flood.  What is its message?  That God has made a pact with us that he will always be present?  But can it also strike one that a rainbow is made up of different colours each having their place, some maybe even more attractive than others to different people.   Is some of our battle over racism bogged down in refusing to recognise and accept that differences are real?

This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, I set my bow in the cloud and it shall be a sign. Gen 9:1-13.   Pope Francis.   Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or merely a practical philosophy or a catalogue of sins and faults.  Before all else the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.   EG39.

February 22.  David suggested,Like the rainbow story there are lessons for reflection in the Tower of Babel story too.  Here their unity is seen as almost a gangster mentality while power is the motivation. Is it that when we get too proud and big for our boots we need to be cut down to size?  Just looking at society today there certainly seems to be a problem with accepting even legitimate authority.”   Behold they are one people and they have all one language and this is only the beginning of what they will do and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.   Come let us go down and confuse their language.  Gen 11:1-9.  Pope Francis.  Freedom of choice makes it possible to plan our lives and to make the most of ourselves.   Yet if this freedom lacks noble goals or personal discipline it degenerates into an inability to give oneself generously to others.   This can be seen in marriage where more and more people are choosing to live alone or simply spend time together.  A family can come to be seen as a way station.   AL 34

 February 24. Sunday 7C. The Marriage Enrichment group with Fr Andrew had been meeting regularly during this month as they had decided to make a special effort to work on their relationships many of which were experiencing difficulties. It had been a job to get the men to come but as they had got to know and trust each other they all valued the support they received.  George shared, “I’ve never quite understood why it is that we hurt the most those we love the most. I have never raised my hand to anyone at work.”  They all thought about this and Teresa commented, “Maybe it has something to do with intimacy not well understood. We are close in so many ways, but this can get under one’s skin too, no matter how much I pray about it.”  Carmel added, “I hate to think what we were like before this programme.   Were we enemies?”  Jack concluded, “I have learned that we need to respect each other and give each other space.  As our president said the other day, ‘A woman is not your football!.’”  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.   Luke 6:27-38.   Pope Francis.    Some families break up when spouses engage in mutual recrimination but experience shows that with proper assistance and acts of reconciliation through grace a great percentage of troubled marriages find a solution. To know how to forgive and to feel forgiven is a basic experience in family life.  AL 236



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