Reflections. Extracts from Daily Thoughts March 2020

Mar 24, 2020

March 25. Annunciation.  Pearl shared her insights with the others on the feast of the Annunciation. “Mary, a young girl and betrothed to be married, had her life completely turned upside down by the invitation she received through the angel Gabriel to be the mother of the Messiah.  She rightly questioned the angel, but her ‘yes’ to God was unconditional and from then she devoted her life to her Son.  Hers was an unplanned pregnancy but the conditions may not have been as difficult as some young girls experience. However like Mary can they be encouraged and supported to value this new person who once created should have the right to life and to love?  I believe they can.”  “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word.”  From  Luke1:26 – 38.   Pope Francis: A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.  

March 26.  “There are a few things that puzzle me about God and his justice,” Nathan said to Phyllis. “I believe God was quite justified in being fed up with the Israelites when they started grumbling against him.” “Often enough people don’t react rationally,   at first not very strongly to an issue, but only when something really drastic hits them they turn to blaming others even God,and  overreacting in different ways.  Just look at how so many people went panic buying almost irrationally when the reality of the corona-virus started to dawn on them.”        The Lord said to Moses, I have seen this stiff-necked people. Let me alone that my anger may burn hot against them.  Moses begged of the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why does your anger burn hot against your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt? ‘ The Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.  From Exodus 32:7-14.  Pope Francis:  Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. LS 14.  After reflecting consider an action response and end with prayer 

March 27.  After Mass a few men stayed chatting. “Politicians aren’t the only people it is hard to trust.  In every situation there are greedy, self-centred people just out to feather their own nest and eager to trap and exploit you.  Even friends betray friends. What kind of Christians are they really, or is their religion just skindeep?”  “Or maybe ours too? Is this not a time for conversion, to consider if you have harmed someone or creation, planned to hurt or even get rid of him or her, or just destroyed their good name? All sin but especially serious sin doesn’t need confession only, but also asking forgiveness.”   Ungodly men said to themselves, ‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions. He accuses us of sins against our training. Let us condemn him to a shameful death. Wisdom 2:12-22 . Pope Francis: Many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest.  LS 14.

March 29.  Sunday Lent 5A.  When Father Sylvester preached about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead he focused on the words of Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the life” and was able to bring a new understanding to the passage in the light of creation.  “I agree with Pope Francis and the Scripture writers that this is a mystery for us.  Can you imagine what this will mean, all of creation will be renewed?  That is us, animals and plants too, even the smallest created things like viruses,, will somehow never die.  Just imagining it is mind-boggling but it helps me to think more and more how great God really is.”    He paused and ended his homily by saying, “God is great.” And the people replied, “All the time.”         Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but now I also know that whatever you ask of God he will give you.”   Jesus said, to her, “You brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know he shall rise again at the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me even if he is dead, will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me shall not die for ever. Do you believe this?“   Pope Francis:  In the Christian understanding of the world the destiny of all creation is bound up with the mystery of Christ present from the beginning. At the end of time the Son will deliver all things to the Father. At that time The Risen One is mysteriously holding all the creatures of this world to himself and directing them towards fullness as their end.  The flowers of the field and the birds which his human eyes contemplated and admired are now imbued with his radiant presence. LS 100.  After reflecting consider an action response and end with prayer

March 30.  Ernestina shared with her friends, “I got quite a shock when I read the story of Susanna in the book of Daniel the other day.  Was abuse of women and lying officials already common in those Biblical times?”  “For sure, society hasn’t really changed has it, but wasn’t that the mission of John the Baptist to call people to repent and of Jesus to show the just and merciful way to treat people.” Johanna commented, “I’m not so sure myself about mercy in cases of the rights of women and children though. We do call for punishment for gender based violence as well as abuse of children.“ Read the story of Susanna and her abusers in Daniel 13:1-62.  Pope Francis:  Mercy is not opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert and believe.  FM 21. I think of shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected, domestic violence and various forms of enslavement which rather than a show of masculine power are craven acts of cowardice. AL 54.  After reflecting consider an action response and end with prayer

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