MJD News Update #29D

On February 22, the Malacca Johore Diocesan Young People Network or MJDYPN organised an online Mass for all youths, young adults and campus students preparing to return to school, exams, colleges, universities, and work.

Feb 27, 2021

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Dear People of God, We are living in challenging times. The MCO or CMCOs have not slowed us down, but has brought about desperation in some. Thus, some want to hurry decisions, others want to slow down legitimate processes of tested systems of governance and businesses.

Remember the Malay proverb, “Biar ikut resmi padi, makin berisi makin tunduk.”

1.0 A Thought for The Week: LOVING WHOLEHEARTEDLY An eager young man longing to live a good life went to his rabbi and said, “I know that the Hebrew Scriptures say that we ought to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength. But I am very much aware that my heart and soul and mind and strength have bad parts in them. So, tell me, how can I love God?”

After a pause the rabbi replied, “Well, it seems that you’re going to have to learn how to love God with the bad parts too.” Something to think about: David Steindl-Rast said: “The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest, but wholeheartedness.” Oscar Wilde commented: “In fiction good people do good things and bad people do bad: that’s why it is called fiction!”

In real life, bad people can do good things and good people can do bad things. It is not about learning to love when one has perfected love in one’s self. Rather, it is about loving when we are yet weak, imperfect and sinful. Never stop loving even when you fail or fall.

2.0 Announcements for This Week:

2.1 The extended MCO ends on March 4, 2021. Whether MCO or CMCO, some slack has been given to ‘Rumah Ibadat Bukan Islam’ or RIBI, ie beyond the 30-minute allocation for worship; between the times 6.00am-10.00pm for Melaka and 6.00am2.00pm/4.00pm-10.00pm for Johor. The number of worshippers at one slot is 50 per cent of venue’s capacity (Melaka) and not beyond 30 persons (Johor).  SOPs, especially sanitisation, face masks and physical and social distancing, are to be observed before, during and after services. The CMCO permits gatherings for weddings, funerals, meetings, seminars and trainings.

2.2 MJD’s Lenten 2021 has opted for the theme “Live Simply that Others May Simply Live”. The Caritas-MJD, with the Creation Justice Commission, are animating reflections, community projects and Lenten Collections, to Live Lent fruitfully. Begin by teaching each family member to put aside RM1 or more each week for charity, which is “faith in action”. On Palm Sunday or after, offer the Lenten Gift to Jesus, the suffering, the abandoned and the fearful.

2.3 Prayers for Myanmar: In your church, BEC, Parish Intercessory Groups or as family, pray for a non-violent political solution, the release of elected leaders who were detained, and the return of the nation to democratic rule. Include this intention in the Sunday Liturgy.

2.4 Some Diocesan Events:
a) On February 22, the Malacca Johore Diocesan Young People Network or MJDYPN  organised an online Mass for all youths, young adults and campus students preparing to return to school, exams, colleges, universities, and work. It was a Mass for those who have lost their jobs, are changing jobs or are looking for employment. They joined me, the celebrant at St James Chapel, Majodi Centre. A total of 89 participated via Zoom, while others watched the live stream on Facebook.

b) On March 14, 2021 (8.00pm-10.00pm): the Diocesan Family Life Ministry (DFLM) has arranged for a Zoom session with Dr Joseph Jacob, a geriatrician, and consultant psychiatrist  from Kuala Lumpur, to speak on The Pandemic Stress & Coping Among the Elderly. Contact Dcn Leslie Petrus or DFLM for more information.

3.0 This Week’s Questions & Queries.
The Q asks: How can we respond to troubled times that confront us?

The late Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco proposed seven strategies from John’s Gospel (chapters 13-17) as a “response and opportunity to testify”.  They are:

1. Jn 13:5 Jesus washed the disciples’ feet: Allowing Jesus to serve or minister to us to love more.

2. Jn. 13:14-15 Jesus said, you also ought to wash one another’s feet: Seek to serve others, be willing to assess the needs of others, to be available, to initiate, to be creatively generous.

3. Jn. 13:16-17 Jesus said, the Father will give you another Advocate, to live with you forever:  Live according to the Spirit, abide in Me and bear much fruit.

4. Jn. 14:30 Jesus said, the ruler of this world is coming: Identify Evil, the work of the evil one, their influences and enticements, and the Spirit of truth will guide you in all the truth. Jn16:13

5. Jn.15:16 Jesus said, you did not choose Me but I chose you: Being Chosen, live strengthened by the knowledge and experience that you are personally chosen and sent.

6. Jn. 17:20-23 Jesus said, so that they maybe one, as we are one: Being in Community, to be in union with God through formation and the community’s sustenance.

7. Jn. 17:1,9,20 Jesus said, I am asking on their behalf, they are yours: Invited to be in union with God through prayer, turn to Him in prayer when struggling with ambiguity and adversity.

The troubled times we face can be our “response or opportunity to testify”.

Thank you for reading. Let us continue to build God’s Kingdom together. Another week of opportunity to witness to the Love of God. God bless you. Take care. Be safe.

Bishop Bernard Paul
February 26, 2021

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