Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #87

Walk in His peace. Religion is human, it is an organisation with men’s rules. But Spirituality is divine, without human rules.

May 20, 2022

Greetings and Peace of the Easter Season be with you, dear MJD Catholics. Rejoice! The Risen Lord is with us always.

Getting ready for renewal, for an awakening! Pentecost is drawing near. In preparation for its advent, the Life in the Spirit Seminars in various languages are available. Contact CHARIS (or once known as Charismatic groups) in your parish. The Spirit transforms lives and people. The diocesan Pre-Synodal Consultations were the working of the Holy Spirit too. Gentle, evoking and motivating mover of listening communities.

Spending Times? It was Wesak Day replacement holiday in Johor. There were jams near the shopping malls. Crowding. Feasting. Spending. No MySejahtera checks? No crowd control? No scanning? No guarded entrances? The eateries were packed. The outlets were doing roaring business. There was money to spend. There was money to be made. There was money to flaunt. One spends freely without a thought. Another spends cautiously because things are expensive and need prioritising. And there are many with nothing to spend. Who do we see spending? Our spending reveals thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness. Thoughtless spending hikes up prices and favours the profiteers. Remember the sin of the rich man in Lazarus, the beggar episode, it was indifference. Being rich is not a sin.

A Thought for the Week:

In the room or in the yard?
Mulla had lost his ring in the living room. He searched for it for a while, but since he could not find it, he went out into the yard and began to look there. His wife, who saw what he was doing, asked: “Mulla, you lost your ring in the room, why are you looking for it in the yard?” Mulla stroked his beard and said: “The room is too dark and I can’t see very well. I came out to the courtyard to look for my ring because there is much more light out here.” (Classic Tales of Mullah Nasreddin)

Something to think about:

Like Mulla Nasreddin, many are constantly looking for the key to happiness, the key to bliss, the key to freedom, the key to inner peace and tranquillity, the key to love, and the key to God in the wrong place: in the place where we think there’s most light!

What if the one and only right place to find the key to life is the deep, dark cave of our innermost being: our heart?

Announcements for this Week:

1. A belated Happy Teachers Day to all of you. The teachers of my time, were colour-blind, taught us healthy competition, sportsmanship and planted within us a love for God, country and king, and the upholding of law. We were more civic-minded than religious. The best became teachers. The nation still needs good teachers, with a sense of Christian mission.

2. The Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu seminaries will break for the July holidays.

3. The World Day of Families will be celebrated throughout the diocese on June 26, 2022. A special Mass will be held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral at 6.00pm with the bishop.

4. The nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for the great Feast of the Pentecost will begin with the Feast of the Ascension, and extend from May 27 to June 4.

5. The Church celebrates World Communications Sunday on the weekend of May 29. Being the Fifth Sunday of the month, the second collection is taken for the “Natural Disaster Fund”.

This week’s Question and Query:

The Q asked: How can this current synodal process be grounded?

In this experience of the People of God, the special charism of ordained ministers to serve, sanctify and animate the people can and should also come to the fore in a new way.

1. The journey rests on listening to and living the Word of God. Pope Francis exhorted us: “let us be passionate about Sacred Scripture; let us dig into the Word, which reveals the newness of God, and which leads us to love others without tiring”.

2. Without this grounding in the life of the Word, we risk walking in the dark and our reflections risk becoming an ideology. Instead, base yourselves on the “Word put into practice”. Build the house on rock and experience the surprising light and guidance of the Risen Lord, like the disciples of Emmaus.

Walk in His peace. Religion is human, it is an organisation with men’s rules. But Spirituality is divine, without human rules.

We are the living branches of the True Vine. Apart from the Vine, we perish. Let us share in its one life, one energy and its one flow, bearing lasting fruits.

Bishop Bernard Paul
May 20, 2022

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