Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #174

The nation remembers the 10 Navy personnel who perished in the Lumut helicopter mishap. Let us be united with the mourning.

May 10, 2024

Greetings dear friends of MJD,
The nation remembers the 10 Navy personnel who perished in the Lumut helicopter mishap. Let us be united with the mourning. Severe weather sweep across continents: tornadoes in US and China, flood and extreme heat in Africa, India and Bangladesh. Earth tremor measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale shook the north-west of West Java. Air quality has worsened to unhealthy levels in Banting, Rompin, Kimanis, with Putrajaya and Shah Alam nearing the unhealthy mark. While climate change and bad air is worrying, the election air in US, Spain and KKB does not help either. Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Tajikistan were polled as the four most polluted countries. A groundswell against the Israel-Gaza invasion is sweeping through US campuses. World Bank reports find Malaysian students lagging behind Vietnam in years of learning and reading proficiency. In Samoa, churches spend millions building cathedrals when debts and poverty are skyrocketing. Good news or bad news?

“Bounce Back” Times: Individuals have defied the odds to rise from defeat or disasters. Once backward nations have emerged as new tigers. Once never known to be sports savvy, many have their names etched in the Halls of Fame. Often, I wonder, when will I see our nation, our churches, or our sportsmen soar? Many of us hope to see a comeback, a bounce back or recovery. People are generally hopeful. Will we ever see a bounce back?

We all face pain and hardships. Whether it’s a career setback, breakup, or health scare, building resilience is crucial for navigating life’s challenges.

Resilience is our ability to bounce back; handling tough times by staying mentally flexible and emotionally flexible. How do they do it? Practise acceptance. Focus on what you can change. Set new goals. Think optimistically. Connect for support. Take care of yourself. Work on problem-solving skills.

The disciples bounced back. Those who encountered Jesus were renewed. In Christ Jesus, many witness to the new freedom, new life and new man. They bounced back.

“True encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, a resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, a power of creative transformation.” — Thomas Merton, He Is Risen

A Thought for the Week:
Merchant of Death.

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and, to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The newspapers had mistakenly reported the death of the wrong person. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies.” And also “He was the merchant of death.” This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” he asked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?” He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working towards peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.

A lesson from the merchant of death:
Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same. How do you want to be remembered? What would people say about you at your wake or funeral?

Announcements for the Week

1. Join MJD’s Creation Justice Ministry’s collaboration with Caritas MJD, the Forestry Department, on the Mangrove Project. Join us in Restoring Mangroves, exploring Kukup Island and the Stingless Bee Farm on Sunday July 28! Contact the Creation Justice Committee of your parish for more details.

2. The Special Children’s Parents Support Group want to reach out to parents with special children who have, autism or any mental or physical disabilities. Open to all language groups. Contact Veronica Dass Tel: 016 2095001.

3. Diocesan Priesthood Vocation Discernment Weekend in Mandarin will be held on May 18-19 at the Church of St Louis, Kluang with the theme Good for us to be Here (Mk 9:5). For more details, please contact Msgr Peter Ng.

The Lord walks with you. “God will never direct us to be prideful, arrogant and unforgiving, immoral or slothful or full of fear. We step into these things because we are insensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us.”(Charles Stanley). Be led by the Spirit.

Something to tickle you: “God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfil His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bishop Bernard Paul

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