MJD News Update #37

The Easter season gives us hope that God is with us in our boat, which is struggling with threatening winds and waves. His words are: “Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. It is I”.

May 01, 2021

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus  Christ be with you, dear People of God. 

It is great to be back after a two-week  break. My thanks to Msgr Michael  Mannayagam for continuing the F12 in my  absence. The Easter season gives us hope  that God is with us in our boat, which is  struggling with threatening winds and  waves. His words are: “Peace be with you.  Do not be afraid. It is I”.

Authorities are expecting a fourth wave  of the COVID-19 pandemic if the daily  number of new cases does not decrease.  India is registering the world’s highest  daily number of new cases while grappling  with a shortage of oxygen supply. 

The Mufti of Penang, when commenting on the recent re-surfacing of Majlis  Agama Islam Selangor’s (MAIS) Pendedahan Agenda Kristian, called for finding  common ground not differences; ensuring  no hurtful statements when touching on  other religions in a multicultural society. 

The land lease for Convent Bukit  Nanas’s has been extended for another 60  years. 

The violence in Myanmar continues  unabated.

1.0 Thought for the Week: TRYING  TOO HARD or LETTING THINGS  HAPPEN?
A Student asked his Master: How long will  it take me to learn enlightenment?

The Master replied: Five years. 

Then the Student enquired: What if I try  real hard?

The Master told him: Ten years.

Something to ponder: Chuang Tzu wrote  these words: 

“It is not about working harder, but rather about stepping back and gently focusing. 

Stop trying so hard and instead allow  things to happen unto you. When an archer is shooting for nothing,  he has all his skill.

If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous.

If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes  blind or sees two targets –

He is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize  divides him.

He cares. He thinks more of winning  than of shooting —

And the need to win drains him of power. 

Austen Ivereigh talks of Pope Francis’  way of teaching, ie having the eyes of the  disciple and the Good Shepherd, not merely See-Judge-Act but to Contemplate-Discern-Propose what we see.

Pope Francis appeals to us to be like the  early Church — poor, missionary, humble,  grace-dependent, witnessing to Christ not  as an idea but as an experience of encounter; a kind of peace-making.  Is this what is meant by the words of the  Psalmist “Be still and Know”?

2.0 Announcements for this Week:

2.1 Recently the two parishes of St  Mary’s, Air Salak and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Krubong, had their Masses cancelled  for two weeks. Fr Patrick Tyoh was diagnosed COVID positive and is quarantined  in Serdang as required by KKM. 

The masks, the sanitisation and the  distancing are the safest ways available.  Many are still waiting for vaccination. Yet  we have reports of slow rollout of vaccines  and reports of allergic reactions to the vaccines.

2.2 Mission schools continue to be part  of the nation’s history. They were largely  multiracial and were neutral platforms for  all races to meet and interact. They were  the seedbed of Malaysian leaders, professionals and proud civic-minded citizens,  with no room for racism or religious bigotry.

2.3 Coming up next is the Feast of St Joseph, the Worker. Praise God for the work  of your hands, for co-creating with Him,  the Creator. Let us with God and St Joseph  work to make this world a better place. A  blessed feastday of St Joseph to Plentong,  Bukit Batu, Genuang, Sagil, Pulau Gadong and Tg Kling.

2.4 An update: CMCO for Johor and  RMCO for Melaka has been extended till  May 17.

3.0 This Week’s Questions & Queries
The Q asks: Images? Concepts? Do they  affect us, Catholics and others?

The Vatican Council Fathers moved  away from the orthodox and the abstract.  They invited us to view the Church with  evocative imagery, appealing not only to  the mind, but just as importantly, to the  spirit.

The call was not to see ourselves as crusaders storming a secular citadel, as serfs  overseen by feudal lords or as spiritual  tourists making quick stops at churches.  We are more, we are ‘People of God’. 

We are PILGRIMS; a people on the  way, people in movement, people of the  Way like the first followers of Jesus. We  are not a perfect society. We are unfinished, still imperfect. We live as finite beings within a divine mystery.

Two other biblical images for us:

First, we hold the treasure of the Gospel  in clay jars (2 Cor.4:7); 

Second, we, in this life, we have no finished vision; we see only glimpses in a  mirror dimly (1 Cor.13:12). 

This reminds us that faith is not vision.  (The Way Jan.2021: A Pilgrim People  p.69-77)

Thank you for reading. Let us continue  to build God’s Kingdom together. Let us  journey together discovering who we are,  what we are and what awaits us. May God  bless us and may we bless God for what  we behold. Take care. There’s a great week  ahead of us. 

Bishop Bernard Paul
April 30, 2021

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