REFLECTIONS. Extracts from UBUNTU – THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY.
February 8th. St Josephine Bakhita. After a talk on human trafficking Mercia had become concerned about this modern day slavery as she had come to understand it. “Do people really know what a problem it is,” she asked. “Take St Josephine Bakhita, born in 1869. As a young girl from Sudan she was kidnapped and sold and resold as a slave until she was rescued by an Italian family. She converted to Christianity and eventually became a religious sister and died in 1947. She is a patroness of those subjected to human trafficking which is a growing problem in many countries.
I will espouse you for ever. I will espouse you with righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will espouse you in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord. From Hosea 2 readings of the day.
Pope Francis: How I wish that all of us would hear God’s cry, “Where is your brother?” Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting and undocumented labour. Let us not look the other way. EG 211
February 12th. Mary considered how, although there have always been challenges, these days people are a lot more sceptical. They want proof and do not take statements of belief without a satisfactory explanation. Questions may be out of curiosity but frequently there is an honest need for greater understanding that cannot easily or always be met. There are some pastoral challenges concerning marriage and natural law, family planning, gender roles in the church and many issues around sickness and health care. This being the feastday of Our Lady of Lourdes it is also a day of prayer for the sick. People may not exactly be asking for signs but they do want clarity. No doubt this makes our church leaders sigh too. The Pharisees came seeking a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” Mark 8:11-13.
Pope Francis: Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits. By thinking that everything is black and white we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God. AL305