Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #156

Another new year. Another Advent. The world waited for the Prince of Peace then. Today, people everywhere long for peace, fitful sleep, food, reasonable water and light.

Dec 08, 2023

Greetings to you, dear friends and faithful.
Another new year. Another Advent. The world waited for the Prince of Peace then. Today, people everywhere long for peace, fitful sleep, food, reasonable water and light. It is again Christmas without the basics, Christmas with the deprived and it is becoming more and more Christmas without Christ.

Dark Times: Will we see ceasefires in the many troubled places? The “COVID-19 is back” warning is out. “Prepare for the monsoon floods”, the media warns. Exams and school holidays can be stressful. Festivities add more burdens on the family. To spend or not to spend is a dilemma. Who sets the tone? The adverts and megamalls or the heads of families? Decide on what you want to celebrate. The poor and the deprived improvise. They celebrate the reason for the season. The rich may splurge and miss the Christ in Christmas. Let us remember the call of this year’s Protec Year 4 “cut down on (fuel) consumption”. Remembering a Filipino saying: “I eat less. You eat less. They eat more.”

A Thought for the Week:
The Greatest Distance If you were to take a trip around the globe, you would travel almost 25,000 miles! Yet, this distance is still not the farthest, in the sense of importance to an individual and what they do with the life they are given. What is the greatest, most important distance in the world?

It is an astounding 18 inches…the distance from a person’s heart to their head. People can have all the knowledge about a particular subject matter in their head and be as smart as the wisest individuals who walk the earth but unless they LIVE it and USE their abilities, it will mean nothing.

One of the favourite slogans in athletics is also so very true in a person’s everyday life: “The difference between an ordinary person and an extraordinary individual, is that little EXTRA.” There are an untold number of people that have great ideas, thoughts, inventions, solutions to the world’s problems, etc., and actually DO something about them. They ACT on their THOUGHTS. A person may have all of the book knowledge but if they never actually use it…it is worthless. An individual may know how to build a house, where to place the lumber, the plumbing, the electrical systems, the foundation, etc., but if that person never goes out and physically builds a house…what good is having that knowledge?

So, are you a THINKER or a DOER? How well are you conquering the greatest distance in the world?

Announcements for this Week

1. Congratulations to the Malacca Johore Diocese Young People Network for the dedicated service and groundwork done for the Vicariate level World Youth Day celebrations. There were 475 participants in Malacca, 380 in South Johore, and 180 in North Johore. It is wonderful to see the young people express themselves in song, dance, clapping and fellowship.

2. The 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary of Fr JR Rajendran took place on December 4 at 6.00pm at the Church of the Immaculate Conception Johor Bahru. 3. Sr Jennyfer Palanisamy, a Canossian, will be making her final profession on December 9 at 11.00am at the Chapel of St James, Merlimau. Pray for vocations.

QnQ: Q asks? Can one be happy, when many are sad?
An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first would win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others’ hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they had run together like that as a single winner could have had all the fruits for himself, they said: ‘Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?’

Ubuntu in their civilisation means: I am because we are. That tribe knows the secret of happiness that has been lost in all societies which transcend them and which consider themselves civilised societies!

The Malacca Johore Diocesan Pastoral Assembly 2023 reminds us to be faithful to the three pillars of “Being A Synodal Diocese” ie Communion, Participation and Mission. May we be faithful to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God bless you all.

Bishop Bernard Paul

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