REFLECTIONS. Extracts from Daily Thoughts for October. Theme: Families on Mission

Oct 6, 2020

October 7. Our Lady of the Rosary. “Do those people selling rosaries on street corners really know what it is?” Ann asked her mom. “Do you?” was mom’s reply.  “Yes, well…”  “Some families do pray the rosary at home, some in church and many pray as individuals or sodality groups.  ‘The family that prays together stays together’ was a slogan used in a Rosary campaign 50 years ago. We still need to pray and stay but we say, ‘the family that prays and plays together stays together.” Joel added.  “I know that the Rosary is not just a recitation of prayers but a reflection on events in the life of Jesus and Mary, dedicated to God at Mary’s request for peace in the world. Maybe we should teach that to the street sellers. We certainly all need peace.“  “Hail full of grace. You will conceive and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. He will reign over the House of Jacob for ever and of his kingdom there will be no end.”   Pope Francis: Dear youth: Mary’s yes was of someone prepared to be committed and willing to take a risk, ready to stake everything she had, knowing that she was the bearer of a promise.  What promise is present in my heart that I can take up? Mary did not take out an insurance policy.  She took the risk, and for this reason she is strong, she is an influencer.  Her yes and her desire to serve were stronger than her doubts or difficulties.  CV44.

October 8.  A Father’s Care.  Members of a men’s group shared, “Pope Francis continually challenges us to help others and share with the poor. We’re inclined to get skeptical about the beggars at traffic lights but I suppose one should say that all our demonstrations about land, service delivery and jobs are also what Luke could have been talking about.”  “Sharing bread among friends is already a sacred thing: when we are in need our real friends will make God present for us in this way.” “Knocking on doors and asking eventually can also get results! One can say, ‘Snakes and stones and scorpions will not be the gift of the Father, but certainly God will give the Holy Spirit who will call us to our mission.’”   What father among you if his son asks for a fish will give him a serpent?  If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. From Luke 11:5-13. Pope Francis:   God who wishes to work with us and who counts on our cooperation can bring good out of the evil we have done.  The Holy Spirit can be said to possess an infinite creativity proper to the divine mind, which knows how to loosen the knots of human affairs.   LS 80.

October 10Who is blessed?   There was something that really worried George. He wanted to know, “Is Jesus downplaying the role of his own mother? I don’t think that is fair.” “Maybe he was saying that just having a child isn’t the blessing, but how we develop that motherly attitude and care for all children.”  “Maybe one could say, ‘Both birthings make them godlike, being a birth-mother but in a special way, loving and caring for all vulnerable people. Those who can do that deserve our praise.’”  Jesus said.   “Blessed is the womb that bore you.” “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:27-28.   Pope Francis:  Families should not see themselves as a refuge from society, but instead go forth from their homes in a spirit of solidarity with others.  In this way they become a hub for integrating persons into society and a point of contact between the public and private spheres.   AL 181

October 11. Sunday 28A.  Wedding Guests.  Before he posted his weekly homily Fr Brian would reflect on his congregation and ask himself.  “Who is here or not here and why have they come back?  How much do they value this banquet to which Jesus invites us all or am I in a way not making it wholesome enough for them?   Is it up to me or should these families of the parish themselves not be going out on Jesus’ behalf and inviting others to come to the banquet?  I will ask them if they see themselves as the first invited guests, the later uninvited guests or those sent out to look for others.  Maybe Pope Francis’ three areas of ministry applies here.”  And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good so the wedding hall was filled with guests.” Matt 22:10.   Pope Francis. 1. Ordinary pastoral ministry is to inflame the hearts of the regular faithful.  2. Ministry to the baptised who lack a meaningful relationship to the Church which tries to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith and a commitment to the gospel. 3. Evangelisation is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him.  EG 14.

CEE couples from the past

October 12.   Jonah’s story.  Antonette started the sharing in the family and said, “I have realised that there is a bit of Jonah in all of us. The story tells of a Jew sent by God to people to call them to repent. He didn’t want them to repent, but to be punished.  But, after running away from God, and as the story goes, being shipwrecked and swallowed by a whale as a punishment, he did eventually go and preach to the wicked and brutal people of Nineveh and they did repent.  How often have we heard people say things like, “He should rot in hell for what he has done to that innocent child.” The brutal reality of some acts of  terrorism today  is much like the time of Nineveh. The brutal way in which murder and in particular femicide occurs often gets the same response. Even cruelty to animals shocks us and demands “the full might of the law.”  How hard it is for us to accept that God loves all people and all of creation.  Jonah eventually agreed that God can forgive and show mercy to anyone who repents.  The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. Luke 11:29-32. Pope Francis:  Mercy is not only the working of the Father; it becomes a criterion for knowing who his true children are. AL 310.  

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