March 15. Michael and Paula’s young adult group were meditating on the reading of the day. “Can it be true” she asked,” that those who have committed abuse and other evil things can be forgiven if they change their ways and do good? But there are also plenty of people, men and women, young and older, priests and lay people who seem to be good on the surface and yet carry on with doing evil things. Would God see this differently to our human laws that demand retribution and punishment.” Reflect and share. Thus says the Lord, “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it. Eze 18:21-28. Pope Francis: Mere justice is not enough. God goes beyond justice with his mercy and forgiveness. Anyone who makes a mistake must pay the price, but this is just the beginning of conversion. God does not deny justice, he envelopes it and surpasses it with an even greater event in which we experience love as the foundation of true justice. MV21
March 16. In the run-up to our May 8 election all the political parties are promising the earth. But what will they deliver? Our bishops have written a Pastoral Letter to us which families too should discuss at home, especially with first time voters. Download from www.sacbc.org.za“The General Election of May 8th presents all South Africans with the opportunity to renew our vision for South Africa. It is imperative that we choose wisely and courageously and not be distracted by false promises. Our primary concern as your spiritual leaders is that we choose leaders who will promote the good of all by living the values of the Constitution in the light of the Gospel. We ask you: who do you think would –
- eradicate corruption more effectively?
- Provide realistic programmes to overcome unemployment and poverty?
- appoint selfless public servants as leaders at national and provincial level?
- Effectively reduce the level of violence tyrannising our people?
- Transform those attitudes and practices which underlie the violence against women and children?
- Respond effectively to the aspirations of our youth?
- Fulfil the promises they make rather than disappoint us?
- Protect our democracy and its institutions?
We are challenged not to vote only to advance our own personal interests, be they interests of race, ethnic group or social and economic class. Rather we are called to vote in a way that will promote the common good.
Moses spoke to the people, “You have declared this day concerning the Lord that he is your God, and the Lord has declared this day concerning you that you are a people for his own possession. Deut 26:16- Pope Francis: Families have the right to be able to count on an adequate family policy on the part of public authorities in the juridical, economic, social and fiscal domains. They have the right to decent housing, and basic services. It is important to insist on the rights of the family and not only those of individuals. AL 44
March 17. Sunday Lent 2C. Transfiguration. Fr Oliver asked, “Who can honestly say they have experienced the glory of God, like having a mountain-top experience? Think about a time and later on discuss it at home.” May and Josh gave one another’s hands a hard squeeze. “We did and sometimes do when we really experience God’s love in our marriage, in our love-making or sometimes breakfast-making or looking at our children as special gifts.” Special moments like First communion or Confirmation or a special retreat came to some minds. Margaret voiced her thoughts. “It seems that God, in his mercy, gives us a chance to get away from ordinary life for such special moments but to encourage us and give us hope for dark times that may come. At times like this he is especially close to us too.”
Master it is well that we are here. From Luke 9:28-36. Pope Francis: Our contemplations of the fulfilment yet to come allows us to the historical journey we make as families in perspective. In this way we stop demanding of our interpersonal relationships a perfection which we will only encounter in the Kingdom to come. AL 325.