May 29. Day 6 Hospitality: Show unusual kindness. Acts 28:1-2, 7. “After we had reached safety, we that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us. In the neighbourhood were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.”
Reflection. After the traumas and conflicts of the storm at sea, the practical care offered by the islanders is experienced as an unusual kindness by those washed up on the shores. Such kindness demonstrates our common humanity. The Gospel teaches us that when we care for those in distress we are showing love to Christ himself.
Prayer. God of the orphan, the widow and the stranger, instil in our hearts a deep sense of hospitality. Open our eyes and hearts when you ask us to feed you, to clothe you and to visit you. May our churches participate in the ending of hunger, thirst and isolation and in overcoming barriers that prevent the welcome of all people. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus, who is present in the least of our sisters and brothers. Amen. Offer a prayer to Our Lady.
May 31. Day 8. PENTECOST. Generosity: Receiving and giving. Acts 28:8-10. “The father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honours on us.
Reflection. This story is full of giving and receiving: Paul received unusual kindness from the islanders; Paul gives healing to the father of Publius and others; having lost everything in the storm, the 276 receive abundant provisions as they set sail again. As Christians we are called to unusual kindness, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, starting at home.
Prayer: God, giver of life, we thank you for the gift of your compassionate love which soothes and strengthens us. We pray that our churches may be always open to receive your gifts from one another. Grant us a spirit of generosity to all as we journey together in the path of Christian unity. We ask this in the name of your Son who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Offer a prayer to Our Lady.
Also for PENTECOST. Fr Sylvester shared how in his family around Pentecost they would all reflect on the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and consider and share what they saw in each other. “One year I was credited with kindness maybe that was because I had tried hard to practise self-control. It would be a very nice thing for you all to do in your own families. You can see the activity we have in our Sunday bulletin today. There are varieties of gifts but the same spirit and they are gifts of service but the same Lord. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Just as the body is one and has many members and all the members are one body so it is with Christ. Cor 12:4, 12.
SUGGESTED PENTECOST ACTIVITIES THAT COULD BE DONE IN THE FAMILY.
- Spend some time together to reflect, discuss and share what gifts and fruits you see in each other.
- Let each choose the gifts and fruits they believe they need for their own lives and pray together that the Holy Spirit will bless each member with what they have asked.
- As an activity – possibly with smaller children – talk about the meaning of the different gifts and fruits, make a poster of the picture and colour it in.
- Extensive resources for a full programme can be downloaded from https://ctbi.org.uk
DAILY THOUGHTS FOR JUNE
OVERVIEW. Birth, childhood and growth through adolescence are the most vibrant stages of life in all areas of creation, human, animal and plant. We understand that family relationships do exist too in the animal kingdom. Vigorous growth and regrowth happen in phases that can often be stressful and conflict-filled. However, ideally in a family, the young receive the conscious protection, care and support they need to monitor and direct their youthful energy towards full and responsible maturity.
Pope Francis tells youth in his letter Christus Vivit, to young people and to the entire people of God: sheer vitality and strength of personality combine in the hearts of young people to make them constantly aim higher. This exuberance will be tempered by time and painful experiences but it is important for this youthful and still untested yearning for the infinite to encounter unconditional friendship that Jesus offers. CV190