September 26th. A surprising outcome of the recent Heritage Day celebration in the community was the greater spirit of unity which also led to a desire to address some of their pressing issues in a positive and creative way. The youth still wanted to toyi-toyi and march but some of them were co-opted on to the working group for not just cleaning up but beautifying the surroundings using whatever resources the community had. They came to an agreement, “We don’t need separate facilities for each religious group or sodality but want to try to overcome political and religious differences and make our Civic Centre more attractive and a real welcoming place we can all use. That can be our first priority.” “Long may it last,” Fr George muttered as he observed the goings-on.
Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled house while this house of mine lies in ruins? Consider how you have fared. You have sown much but harvested little, you eat but never have enough. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build my house that I may take pleasure in it. Haggai 1:1-8. Pope Francis An awareness of the gravity of today’s cultural and ecological crisis must be translated into new habits. People know that our current progress and amassing things and pleasures are not enough to give meaning and joy to the human heart. LS 209
September 27th. St Vincent de Paul society spearheaded setting up a day-care centre and luncheon club for the seniors from the community supported by others, government, churches and business. As time went by it was sad how the place deteriorated. Some of the seniors would gather and reminisce about olden times. Sometimes there were arguments and challenges and some of their prejudices would come to the fore but they recognised this as part of the way forward. “Do you remember how clean the area used to be?” “I don’t, I thought the streets were always dirty.” “Not everywhere, and we were proud of the Civic Centre when it was first built. Why has it become so neglected, even if some of us are poor?”
Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? Yet now take courage, all you people of the land, work for I am with you says the Lord of hosts. My Spirit abides among you. Haggai 2:1-9. Pope Francis I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots concern and affect us all. LS14.
September 29th. Sunday 26C. Fr Oliver had faith in the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael whose feastday also falls on this day. In his homily he highlighted each of their messages. “The name ‘Michael’ means “who is like God?” and Michael was given the responsibility of protection from evil. Gabriel brought the Good News to Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah. Raphael’s name means, God has healed” and he appears as a healer in the book of Tobit. Each of these messengers from God still fulfils his role and calls us to conversion in our actions for the common good of the earth and our human family.”
O people of God, aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Tim 6:11-16. Pope Francis The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The creator does not abandon us, he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. LS 13
September 30th. Bishop Sipuka, the president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops conference recently told this story to his fellow bishops; it has a message for us all. “Let me begin with a story about a mother in her home sitting with her children around the fire and its cold and no one wants to go outside. But there is a problem of piglets that keep going to the garden, and the mother keeps sending the children to chase the piglets out, and they take turns and they cannot wait to be back around the fire because it’s cold outside. One little fellow, when his turn came to chase the piglets out, comes back and tells the mother, “Mom the piglets’ mother is in the garden, can I chase her out of the garden, and the piglets will not go back to the garden again” The mother says, “yes” but the little fellow comes back and he tells his mother, the piglets’ mother is too huge and she wants to bite me.” Then the mother and the children all go out and chase mother pig from the garden. After that, with mother pig and piglets gone out of the garden, they all come back to enjoy the warmth of the fire.” Using our brains, making a plan, working together, we will save the garden for God and the Church, God’s Family.
Thus says the Lord of Hosts. I will save my people from the east and the west and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem and they shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness. Zechariah. 8:1-8. Pope Francis Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker. Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise. LS 12 (Words of St Francis)