August 13. Sexuality Education. “There are many difficult family relationships where men or women or young girls and boys become rebellious and put a lot of strain on a family until it can get out of control. Men womanise, women also sleep around and the young people may get into harmful sexual relationships for a variety of reasons including the example of their elders. Is pornography a reason or drug induced loss of self-control? Is it materialism or too much sexual freedom enjoyed too young and without commitment? Culturally it is claimed that speaking about sexuality in families is a taboo, but in the current reality is it not necessary for families to be much more open and if necessary get help from an older member or even a professional?”
Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not. Ezek 12:1. Pope Francis: Sex education should provide information while keeping in mind that children and young people have not yet attained full maturity. It is always irresponsible to invite adolescents to toy with their bodies and their desires, as if they possessed the maturity, values, mutual commitment and goals proper to marriage. The important thing is to teach them sensitivity to different expressions of love, mutual concern and care, loving respect and deeply meaningful communication. AL 281-283
August 14. Chloe, a midwife shared her experience. “I believe that an infant who is rejected by its mother can suffer long-lasting psychological harm. Whether the pregnancy was because of rape, war rape, date rape or unwanted for other more material reasons is it possible for a mother – and father – to learn to love the baby?” David added, “I know that pregnancy can be traumatic and that there are for too many abandoned babies. I have also seen that there is a unique bond that grows mainly between mother and baby if she lets that happen. That is where non-judgemental counselling is important.”
The word of the Lord came to me, “On the day you were born, no one pitied you. Your navel string was not cut. You were abhorred. I took pity and washed you. You grew exceedingly beautiful but you trusted in your beauty and played harlot. Yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth. Read Ezek 16:1-15 Pope Francis: Expectant mothers need to ask God for the wisdom fully to know their children and to accept them as they are. Some parents feel that their child is not coming at the best time. It is important for that child to feel wanted. A child is a human being and may never be used for one’s own benefit. I urge all future mothers to keep happy and let nothing rob you of the interior joy of motherhood. AL 170-171
August 15. Righteousness. Andrew started the sharing, “If one was to make a list how would one describe a righteous person today, even a youth or older man or woman? Is it a successful, wealthy person who has committed fraud somewhere, or one who is law-abiding, has integrity in all things, doesn’t cheat, steal or get drunk?” “I wonder if young people might even call such a righteous person a wimp. What are we really looking for when TV programmes deliberately attract viewers with provocative names like Scandal? What does that tell us about ourselves?
“The soul that sins shall die. If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right, does not defile his neighbour’s wife, does not oppress anyone, gives bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment – he shall surely live. I have no pleasure in the death of anyone,” says the Lord. Ezekiel 18:1-10. Pope Francis: The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes. Living in a family makes it hard to feign or lie, we cannot hide behind a mask. The spirituality of family love is made up of thousands of small but real gestures. This mutual concern brings together the human and the divine. Al 315
August 16th. Sunday 20C Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. Patron Feast of SA. Fr Joseph began his homily to be posted online. “I am really sad that our country is so greatly affected by the Covid-19 virus. Many people have died and more are still vulnerable and at risk. We, as a parish family, are still not able to gather together but I have encouraged you at home to take time to share with one another, your faith, your concerns and fears and your hopes. Today on our national patronal feast it is especially important to call on Mary, our Mother to intercede for us. We pray for an end to this crisis in a way that there will be greater justice, greater equality and greater peace in our homes and our whole country. She knows our struggles and has experienced sorrow, exile, the loss of a son and a husband but is now a beacon of hope. She is a true patron for us all as we pray, MARY, QUEEN ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN, PATRONESS OF SOUTH AFRICA, PRAY FOR US.”
Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold henceforth all generations will call me blessed: for he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49. Pope Francis: Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with material affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus so now she grieves for the sufferings of the creatures of this world. LS241