REFLECTIONS this week include the last days of August and an introduction to the SEPTEMBER THEME: HERITAGE MATTERS
PRAYER FOR THE WOMEN OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
You are father and mother to us, your children.
We thank you for the particular and special gifts you have given to women, the gift of nurturing life, of sustaining and supporting life, the qualities of compassion, commitment, generosity and a
willingness to share.
As they progress towards their rightful place in society we request your blessing on all women
that they may continue also to hold their rightful place in the family.
that women and men together may build a society which will bring
about the Kingdom You have promised us.
We call on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who nurtured and cared for
her son and now reigns with Him in heaven
to inspire the women of South Africa,
to pray with them in their joys and in their struggles,
and to intercede for them with her Son.
Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, patroness of South Africa, pray for us.
August 30th. Women and Men Matter, has been the August theme for reflection and sharing. It is true, they matter, but are they the same, do they matter in the same way to themselves, to each other and to God? “Sexy, saint or sinner?” was a question asked by a family educator. Is it to do with how they dress, how they act, how they project themselves to others? Does it involve qualities they have and display, hobbies and sports? In today’s society feminine and masculine are no longer as clearly defined in all those areas. LGBTIQ matters are even more complicated. A gay man is not a man trying to be a woman but a man attracted to other men rather than to women. Much discernment and sensitivity are required at times to negotiate right and wrong, natural and unnatural, regular and irregular and at times to respond, as Pope Francis has done, “We are all called to holiness. Who am I to judge?”
The lord loves those who hate evil, he guards the souls of his faithful, he sets them free from the wicked. Rejoice in the Lord, you just, to the memory of his holiness give thanks. Ps 97. Pope Francis: We find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them. AL 37
August 31st. Fr Oliver was preparing his homily. “The last Sunday of August is Bible Sunday and August, a month during which we have been looking into sexual matters. I have become more conscious of this and really do wish that the Bible used more inclusive language all the time. Why should it say, ‘my son, perform your tasks in meekness.’ OK, but why not, ‘my daughter, perform your tasks in meekness.’ Actually what I have learned is that we should say ‘dear men and women, sons and daughters, let us all resolve in future to perform our tasks lovingly with justice and fairness. That is a way to be acceptable to God when he comes to us as our judge.’”
The Lord comes to judge the peoples with fairness. Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring out their joy at the presence of the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice and the peoples with fairness. PS 98. Pope Francis: Every day entering into the life of another, even when that person already has a part to play in our life, demands the sensitivity and restraint which can renew trust and respect. The deeper love is, the more it calls for respect for the other’s freedom and the ability to wait until the other opens the door to his or her heart. Al 99
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY THEME: HERITAGE MATTERS.
Overview: Our family and cultural background have a great influence in the new families we form. Ways of being and traditions, social and religious, from two families have to merge. At the same time the heritage of each is to be respected. Marriage and family life are very important parts of our cultural heritage with their practices and traditions. A spiritual heritage too is part of our overall life experience, ideally a shared one. For believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for our sake, the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us” (Laudato Si’, 216).
September 1st. Sunday 22C World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “Why is care of creation a Justice and Peace issue in some of our parishes? Surely it is for everyone in every family, sodality or catechism class?” Fr Oliver began his reflection for the special day with these words. “And you know something,” he added, “none of us owns creation even if we do own a little piece of land somewhere that we can or should be proud of. But just listen to the words of the gospel. When we look at the world that God has created – not the one that we have polluted so badly – surely we feel humbled.”
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:7-14. Pope Francis: Prayer for the Care of Creation. 1. Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you!
September 2nd. Portia used to feel sad at the time of the anniversary of her mother’s death at the beginning of spring. For some years she would bring her mom’s grave some spring flowers but in time she came to feel more joyful at this season. “I’m sure it is spring in heaven too,” she said to herself.
We would not have you ignorant brethren concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again. Through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thess 4:13-18. Pope Francis: Prayer for the Care of Creation. 2. Son of God, Jesus, through you all things were made. You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother. You became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory. Praise be to you!