EXTRACTS FROM DAILY REFLECTIONS JULY 22 – 26 2020
July 22. Patricia wrote, “St Mary Magdalen has always been a controversial figure. The different gospel accounts are not clear about her identity but Catholics generally accept that she was a sinner, likely a prostitute, that she was forgiven by Jesus and became one of his most faithful followers, standing by him at the foot of the cross and being one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection. Her love for Jesus has made her legendary. Was her sin prostitution? Could she be one to whom intercession can be made to combat the evils of prostitution. It is not only sinful for the sex worker as seller but very much too for the buyer?” As older people the group members decided to offer special prayers for conversion around this problem which nevertheless concerns everyone of all ages.
You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and mercy to Abraham as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old. Micah 7: 20. Pope Francis. The Synod Fathers expressed concern over the current spread of pornography and commercialisation of the body fostered also by misuse of the internet, and those reprehensible situations where people are forced into prostitution. AL 41 READ – REFLECT- SHARE – PRAY- ACT.
July 23. In the different parishes or parish groups there seem to be a lot more older people than younger ones involved in traditional parish life. Even some of our priests are rather long in the tooth. The new way of limited access to the church and practising faith at home was something they really had to adjust to. The group members asked each other, “Do we really have the energy and enthusiasm to try new things that the young ones are better at, but almost always outside of church?
Jesus spoke in parables. “You shall have eyes but not see. This people’s heart has grown dull and their ears heavy of hearing.” From Matt 13:10-17. Pope Francis: We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. There are obstacles to the growth of a genuine culture of care for the environment. LS 229 READ – REFLECT- SHARE – PRAY- ACT.
July 24. Joseph Jackson raised the issue. “The history of the Middle East throughout the ages, but particularly in Israel since its independence in 1948, never seems to be able to end in a peaceful negotiated settlement. There continues to be constant fighting over the land, over Israel and Jerusalem itself. Is it a very deep rooted sense of ownership? Is it selfishness, an unwillingness to compromise and to share? Are these not traits in our country and in families too and are families not supposed to be models of good values? These are the values of God for every situation.”
“Return O faithless children” says the Lord, “for I am your master.” I will bring you to Zion and give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord and all nations shall gather to it to the presence of the Lord and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.” Jer 3:14-17. Pope Francis: The Church proclaims the gospel of peace and she wishes to cooperate with all national and international authorities in safeguarding this immense universal good. By preaching Jesus Christ who is himself peace the new evangelisation calls on every baptised person to be a peacemaker and a credible witness to a reconciled life. EG 239
July 25. St Christopher. Many of the group wrote stories of their devotion to St Christopher, patron saint of travellers. His story is today considered to be a popular legend rather than historical truth. However, the devotion continues and many people have a medal as a reminder to pray for his protection in their vehicle when they set out on a journey. According to the legend Christopher was a giant of a man who wanted to serve the greatest king. After searching he found Jesus and worked at ferrying people across a river. One day a child asked to be carried across. When he lifted the child on to his shoulders the child became unbearably heavy and almost impossible to carry but he struggled across and delivered the child safely. The child was Jesus Christ carrying the weight of the whole world.
A good angel will go with you, your journey will be successful and you will return unharmed. From Tobit 5:22
A MOTORIST’S PRAYER
Grant me O lord, a steady hand and a watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
You gave me life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift divine.
Protect those dear Lord who bear me company, from the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others’ need nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world, that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way.
St Christopher, holy patron of travellers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny.
Pope Francis: A great cultural and spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal. LS202
July 26. Sunday 17A. St Joachim and St Ann – Grandparents Day. On the Sunday nearest the feastday Fr Joseph honoured all grandparents in a special way. It was awkward as older persons, and many of them members of the St Anne’s Sodality, were still advised to stay at home because of Covid-19. So he had enlisted the youth to befriend the grandparents. He explained to them, “Very little is known about Joachim and Ann but tradition honours them as the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus and so they played a role in God’s plan of salvation. Grandparents are often quietly in the background offering their support and especially praying for their grandchildren. You can show them appreciation for their ongoing commitment by making this Grandparents’ Day on 26th July a special way to say “Thanks, we love you.”
Let us praise famous people, and our fathers and mothers in their generation. These were people of mercy whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten. Sirach 44:1. Pope Francis: The words, affection of the presence of grandparents help children to realise that history did not begin with them, that they are now part of an age-old pilgrimage and that they need to respect all that came before them. AL 192.
A GRANDPARENTS PRAYER. Heavenly Father, I give you praise and thanks for the great gift of life you have given me. With wonder and awe I acknowledge that through my life you granted life to my children and they in turn have become the parents of my grandchildren. The world in which they live is different from my world and sometimes we do not understand each other. We need your gifts of acceptance and forgiveness so that we can be at peace. We need your gifts of love and joy so that together we may live out your plan for our family and all the families of the world. We ask you to grant us these gifts in Jesus’ name. Amen