REFLECTIONS. Extracts from Ubuntu Family Thoughts October

October 13th . Openness to others.  “I have been fascinated how in African families goods and money are shared more readily than in white families. I don’t know if my brother would pay my children’s school fees.” “But do we not also have to look beyond our own families?  Should I offer to pay school fees for those refugee children or donate regularly to the orphan programme?” “Many of us give to charity in a general way but would it be good to make it more personal, like with our twin parish?”

A woman said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you.” Jesus said, “blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  Luke 11:27-28. 

Pope Francis:  Led by the Spirit the family circle is not only open to life by generating it within itself, but also by going forth and spreading life by caring for others and seeking their happiness.  This openness finds particular expression in hospitality. The family lives its spirituality precisely by being at one and at the same time a domestic church and a vital cell for transforming the world.  AL 324

October 14th Sunday 28B. Vocation to the priesthood and religious life.  Fr Peter asked all the young people to give some serious thought to the question of vocations.  Maurice had already been asking himself if God was calling him to give up everything and become a religious.  The priests were always going on about how necessary and important vocations are.  He discussed it too with his grandmother, as his parents didn’t seem very supportive.  She told him, “We all have a mission to follow Jesus, but there are many ways of doing this, and whatever way God is asking of you, don’t forget that you will still be called to care for families, because they are the foundation blocks of the Church.” “So I would have 100 children to love?” he thought.

Jesus said, “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters, or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time with persecutions and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10:17-30. 

Pope Francis:   The value in virginity lies in its symbolising a love that has no need to possess the other; in this way it reflects the freedom of the Kingdom of Heaven.  AL 161

October 15th. Jonah’s story. When she sat down and thought about it Antonette realised that there is a bit of Jonah in all of us. “The story   tells of a Jew sent by God to people to call them to repent. He didn’t want them to repent, but to be punished.  Yes, after running away from God he did eventually go and preach to the wicked and brutal people of Nineveh and they did repent, but his initial response was, “No way, these wicked people should be punished.”   How often have we heard people say things like, “He should rot in hell for what he has done to that innocent child.” The brutal reality of ISIS terrorism today  is very much like the time of Nineveh and in the same part of the world. But God loves all people & wants them to be saved. Pope Francis and the Year of Mercy focused on the same issue. Jonah eventually agreed that God can forgive and show mercy to anyone who repents.

The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. Luke 11:29-32

Pope Francis:  Mercy is not only the working of the Father; it becomes a criterion for knowing who his true children are. AL 310    

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