January 17. Paul considered the issue. “It is not only racism that makes people discriminators. Which persons in families and society are stigmatised or discriminated against the most? How can we be responsible and more accepting of people and caring for those who are different from the norm; people with albinism, HIV/AIDS, LGBTI or cripples or people with obvious mental illness. Sometimes people are put in institutions and left there to die, like that Life Esidemeni case some time ago. “
A leper came to Jesus begging him and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him. Mark 1:40-45. Pope Francis. When a society is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems indefinitely guarantee tranquility. EG 59
January 19. Sodality members had been to their annual conference where Fr Josiah had preached a day’s retreat to them. Portia loved these moments but was seriously challenged by the scripture passage he gave them for reflection. The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb 4:12-16. “Am I just suiting my own interests and neglecting my family because of my sodality involvement?” they had to ask themselves. “How can I best balance these two?” Portia found the pie-chart Fr Josiah gave them to consider their time planning really helpful and decided to share it with others.
Pope Francis: The weakening of social bonds in the family is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another. EG 66
January 20. Sunday 2C. When the family discussed the Marriage Feast at Cana in today’s context Doris commented that the gift of so much wine wouldn’t be considered acceptable nowadays. “How many accidents and road deaths were due to alcohol abuse these last holidays?” “Times do change and we should all be very conscious of the type of gifts we should ask God for and also give to others. Gifts like fine wine are something precious but should not be a cause of danger.”
There are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service but the same Lord. 1 Cor 12:4-11. There was a marriage at Cana and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus was invited with his disciples. When the wine failed… John 2:1-11. Pope Francis: The life of every family is marked by all kinds of crises, yet these are also part of its dramatic beauty. Couples should be helped to realise that surmounting a crisis need not weaken their relationship. AL 232