Reflections. Extracts from Daily Thoughts April 2020

Apr 21, 2020

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April 23.  Members of the Justice and Peace department had been involved in discussions around the origin of the corona virus epidemic. “Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si speaks about the harm and abuse of the environment by mankind and dire consequences to be expected, without envisaging the kind of disaster that engulfed the whole of humanity in these last months.  Some people see this as a direct punishment from God, but it can be seen too as a reaction by nature to human misuse, as for example facilitating the jump of a virus from animal to human.  However could such a virus not also be just a natural phenomenon in the course of creation?   Who really knows?  Our concern could be to reflect on God’s role in creatively responding to such an event.             

Peter and the apostles said, “we must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.”  Acts 5:27-33.  Pope Francis:  Creating a world in need of development, God in some way sought to limit himself in such a way that many of the things we think of as evils, dangers or sources of suffering, are in reality part of the pains of childbirth which he uses to draw us into the act of cooperation with the Creator. LS 80. 

April 25.   The women in their sodality meeting were quite agitated when they read the scripture passage. Mrs Ndlovu said, “Yes, I do believe that each person should have a designated role to play in working in the community, but why is it addressed to men to serve at table?”  “Isn’t that women’s work?”  “Never mind whose work, the important thing for us is to  teach our children to do their chores as something to be valued for the common good.” “I have a problem with making teaching and preaching a “higher” activity than serving one another.  Is love and service our first goal. And aren’t  the church leaders meant to be servants of the servants…..”        

 It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore pick out from among you seven men of good repute full of the Spirit and of wisdom whom we may appoint to this duty.  Acts 6: 1-7.  Pope Francis:  The equal dignity of men and women makes us rejoice to see old forms of discrimination disappear.   If certain forms of feminism have arisen which we must consider inadequate we must see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women.   AL 54

April 26. Easter 3A.  Fr Sylvester started by saying, “The Emmaus story must be a favourite for many people and there are so many little nuances.  There was Jesus walking with the two persons (were they men or maybe even a couple) them not recognising him at first and their excitement when they did, him remaining to share a meal with them and being their teacher.   Maybe in your families when you read this story you could share what it is that you found most meaningful. For me personally it is Jesus himself being the teacher.   He must have been an amazing teacher and family catechesis invites us all to work at this.

And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.  From Luke 24:13-35. Pope Francis.   Parents have a serious responsibility for this work of education as the Biblical sages often remind us.  Children for their part are called to accept and practise the commandment “Honour your father and your mother.”   Ex 20:12   AL 17

April 27.  Freedom Day.  The bishop had observed the behaviour of some of the faithful with some concern.  He decided to call a meeting with priests and lay leaders to share with them, “Our country won its freedom from apartheid rule in 1994 and has fought a number of battles since that time.  Sometimes the people have acted together, sometimes in harmony and sometimes they had to be compelled to act in the best interests of all.  The common good is a value dear to our hearts as believers with the particular option for the poor and for creation as special aspects.  Jesus, as liberator, was put to death for his vision of justice for all people. Freedom has its limitations as we have discovered in our recent struggle against a new and unexpected enemy.  True freedom is not the right to do as one wishes but the ability to act with justice for all of God’s creation. As our current battle continues let us all strive to promote this true freedom in the footsteps of our Teacher and Master.”

In those days Stephen full of grace and power did great wonders and signs among the people.  Then some who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen and others arose and disputed with Stephen. They secretly stirred up the people against him.  From Acts 6:8-15.    Pope Francis:  The vision of “might is right” has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful.  At odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus.   LS 82.   There is a general feeling of powerlessness in the face of sociocultural realities that often times end up crushing families.   Families often feel abandoned due to a lack of interest and attention on the part of institutions.   AL 43

 

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