Reflections. Extracts from Thoughts for the Day November 2019

November 8th. The parish community was very sad when their old missionary priest died. Having come from Germany he had served them, inspired and helped them in many ways for more than 40 years.  At his Requiem Mass the catechists paid a tribute to him and his work for more than 3 generations of families.  

“On some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel. So that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Pope Francis:  From the heart of the Gospel we see the profound connection between evangelization and human advancement which must be expressed and developed in every work of evangelization.   EG 178 

November 9th.  Bruce and Mary-Lynn had decided to adopt Prisca and Aquila as their biblical patrons.  They explained, “Most of the followers of Jesus and the disciples of Paul that are mentioned are men. Hardly ever is there a mention of a couple.  There were some women followers and Peter must have been married as his mother-in-law is mentioned. She was ill, Jesus healed her and she got up to serve them.  Surely some of the others worked together with their spouses. We know of good couples who have worked together in pastoral care, but often when one dies the other is almost forgotten.”

Brethren, greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks.  Romans 16:3-9    Pope Francis: In family support there is the contribution made by groups of married couples that provide assistance as part of their commitment to service, prayer, formation and mutual support. Such groups assist other families while they strengthen their marriages. AL 229

November 10th.  Sunday 32C.  Some of the African widows at their Day of Reflection shared sad stories about their treatment by the family of their late husbands.  Although today it is not common any more for a widow to be forced to marry her husband’s brother as has been practiced in the past, they were still often quite powerless and cruelly dispossessed of a house, furniture even their children. Such treatment is against the law but at times tradition can and does take over from the law and good advice about such matters is important.

Some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection and they asked Jesus, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies having a wife but no children, the man must take wife and raise up children for his brothers.  Now there were seven brothers……….  Jesus replied, the sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage for they cannot die any more.  Luke 20:27-38.   Pope Francis:  They can no longer be physically present to us yet for all death’s power, love is strong as death. Our loved ones are not lost in the shades of nothingness; hope assures us that they are in the good strong hands of God. AL256,

November 11th .  Fr Ivor invited Vincent, a parishioner well-versed in scripture, to prepare some basic explanatory notes on the old Testament readings used in the next three weeks.

The book of Wisdom belongs to a genre known as Wisdom literature, written mainly after the Babylonian exile as theological reflection on the history of the chosen people.

Many people found it quite challenging that when former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe died he was praised and lauded by some while others focused more on the negatives; the selfishness and greed he had displayed that had destroyed his country’s economy causing great misery to millions. The J&P group held a long discussion on the issue, “The same has happened in other places too. Even bad rulers seem to have their faithful followers.”

Love righteousness you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord with uprightness and seek him with sincerity of heart because he is found by those who do not put him to the test.  Perverse thoughts separate men from God.  Wisdom 1:1-7.   Pope Francis:  The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.  In this system which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits whatever is fragile, like the environment is defenseless before the interests.

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