January 6. Epiphany. Petru shared with Joe, “when we were growing up in catechism we were taught that ours is the only true church and I am still quite suspicious of other religions.” He responded noting how impressed he had been as a teacher to be exposed to children and their families of many different faiths. “It is not only with prayers but how they all get involved in programmes and projects for the good of the community that impresses me. We can learn a lot from one another in that way without trying to make others accept our religion. I sometimes wonder how it would have been if those three wise men in the Christmas story could have come from three different backgrounds. We each have to have our own revelation for mature faith to grow,” he said.
The mystery was made known to me by revelation, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, that is how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. Eph 3.
Pope Francis: Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. EG250
January 9. Their couple relationship had been an abusive one almost since the beginning and she had tolerated it for a long time. She could have left but when her young daughter shared how afraid she was of “that man” she realised that she could no longer fool herself. “This is not a loving relationship and should not continue. We all need to learn to understand what love should be. Do I want her to spend her life living in fear? It can even affect her future ability to relate.”
Pope Francis: The experience of mercy enables us to regard all human problems from the standpoint of God’s love. MM14.
January 12. Dad explained, “ When I was young smoking dagga was illegal and I saw it as a sin. Now it isn’t illegal any more and so isn’t it a sin any more? So what really makes something a sin?” The family held a very good discussion about it. Morris, the wiser older son explained that sin and law don’t necessarily go together. “Smoking a joint with a friend can affect one’s behaviour but getting high on any drug and driving and killing someone is definitely a sin, even a mortal sin, don’t you think? But what about just smoking a joint? Is it worse than a cigarette or a drink? We need to be responsible and make choices about what is harmful to ourselves and to others and what is good. Sin is breaking a rule and is an offence against God but mainly it is about relationships and doing harm.
There is sin which is deadly. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly. 1 John 5:14-21.
Pope Francis: Only God forgives sins, but he asks that we be ready to forgive others even as he has forgiven us. MM8