MJD News Update #44

We celebrate the three heroes of our faith John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, next week. They pointed out the Promised One to the repentant, the Jews and the Gentiles.

Jun 19, 2021

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

We celebrate the three heroes of our faith John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, next week. They  pointed out the Promised One to the repentant, the Jews and the Gentiles. We thank God for the many who point us to the Way, the Truth  and the Life.

Critical times are here. The older generation  liken these times to the war times. No work, no money, no food, and how they survived on tapioca. Those days are back. Clashes, fights, quarrels among neighbours are on the rise. People are edgy and quick to violence. There are more reports of domestic violence and more  demands for online counselling services. The young are becoming bored, glued to their electronic devices and becoming more anti-social.  Prices of goods are soaring. About 142 hospitals are in need of emergency and life-saving  equipment. The BIDs or “brought in dead” has  been increasing. Critical times demand sacrifice and prioritisation in decision-making. 

1.0 A Thought for the Week: 

Light! Friend or Foe?

The Simon Community runs night-shelters for  down-and-outs. Each night, volunteers bring  soup and sandwiches to those who, for one  reason or another, do not want to come to the  shelters. They go looking for them in derelict  buildings and such places. The most important  aid they take with them is a torch because often, there is no light where the down-and-outs  live. Most of the down-and-outs receive the  volunteers as friends. But some refuse to have  anything to do with them. The volunteers can  tell at once which group they are dealing with by their reaction to the light.

Some welcome the light. Others fear it.  You could say that the light judges them, in the sense that it shows up the darkness in their  lives – the darkness of alcoholism, misery, hopelessness, crime.  But the light doesn’t come to judge them. It  comes as a friend, to brighten up their lives, to comfort them.

Something to think about: Light is not afraid  of the dark. Darkness shies away or withdraws  from the light. When light is absent, darkness  extends its domain. What is your response to  the light?  What is it that is revealed when light is shone  on you?

Jesus said: I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness.  (Jn 8:12)

Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness cannot  drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate  cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” 

2. 0 Announcements for this Week:

2.1 The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei, or CBCMSB will  miss the gentle and witty ways of the departed  Cardinal Cornelius Sim, whose funeral was  on June 15, last Tuesday. May his soul rest in  peace.

2.2 The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of  Malaysia (CBCM) has pledged RM1 million  to the Malaysia Solidarity COVID-19 Fund  spearheaded by the Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia and jointly supported by multi-ethnic  and multi-faith organisations. This is an emergency fund in response to the urgent call for  help from our public hospitals and healthcare  professionals to supply life-saving equipment  for 142 hospitals. The estimated need amounts  to RM10 million.

Your donations are welcome, and can be  channelled to TZU CHI FOUNDATION  MALAYSIA’s bank account (Malayan Banking Bhd 5124 9112 5866) or 

FPX & Credit Card https://onlinedonation. tzuchi.my/ 

This fund is for a specific purpose and need;  and will cease by the end of June 2021.

2.3 Caritas Diocese of Malacca Johore has  initiated a “Food Aid/ Bantuan Dapur” for  those affected by the June MCO lockdown.  Parishes are operating food banks, with BECs  serving as frontliners. Register with the online  forms provided. As Catholics, look out for the  Friends in Need (FIN) and help them to connect.

3.0 This Week’s Question & Query
The Q asks: The recommended model? The Synodal Church? What is it?

1. It is a return to Second Vatican Council ecclesiology. Pope Francis proposes the SYNODAL MODEL of the Church. It is a Church  rooted in a faith encounter with Jesus Christ,  committed to His mission and the appropriate structural change to respond to a changed  world.

2. The focus is on the Church as the People  of God, characterised by collegiality and conciliarity. Beyond episcopal participation, this  model highlights the role of all the baptised as  priest, prophet and king, and the sense of the  faithful. It includes the voice of the poor and  popular piety; the offering of a more inclusive,  participative and conversational space where  individuals and communities can share their  experiences, and negotiate their own identities  with integrity today. 

3. It is an “inverted pyramid” model of Church,  a revolutionary paradigm shift which values  decentralisation and subsidiarity, consultation  and open debate, dialogue internally and with  our culture, the faithful share in Church teaching and governance.

It retains “communal discernment”, the ability to distinguish critically between mere fads  and whispers of the Holy Spirit that are authentic. It brings back the ancient mode of teaching,  the ongoing conversation between bishops,  theologians and the faithful, all with their distinctive and irreplaceable role. (Pope Francis  and Church Reform, The Way Oct 2020, p.107)

Let us continue to build God’s Kingdom together. Read the signs of the times. God is saying something. Continue to be safe and keep  one another safe.

Bishop Bernard Paul June 18, 2021

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