MJD News Update #56

Where there is no truth, there is no justice. Where there is no justice, there is no peace.

Sep 11, 2021

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, dear People of God. Caritas Malaysia celebrated the Feast of St Teresa of Kolkata, its patron saint. The reminder was to “live with our shadow, our smallness and our inadequacies”. September is the Nativity of Mary and it is also retreat time for the Malaysian clergy. Again, we are reminded to yield to the Holy Spirit and His promptings.

Time of the old brooms. Many were disappointed, social media was full of reactions.

Just unbelievable! There is no change, just some shifting around. The same line-up, the same faces, the same incapable and opportunistic regulars have returned to rule. Where there is no truth, there is no justice. Where there is no justice, there is no peace. Institutional racism and religiosity reigns. It took a child to say “the emperor is naked”; now the young people, second class “pendatangs” and the “Aku Anak Malaysia” video clip series are speaking the truth, in love and out of for beautiful Malaysia. Malaysia cares, but not her institutions and leaders. We must call the fake, fake. We must call a blunder a blunder. If we are late for an appointment, then we are late. No excuses. No cover-ups. No ‘sagu hati’ nor consolations.

The old brooms are doing a terrible job. They can’t sweep clean.

Thought for the Week: Seeds Only
A woman went into a marketplace, looked around, and saw a sign that read “God’s Fruit Stand.”

“Thank goodness. It’s about time,” the woman said to herself. She went inside and she said, “I would like a perfect banana, a perfect watermelon, a perfect strawberry, and a perfect peach.” God, who was behind the counter, shrugged and said, “I’m sorry. I sell only seeds.”

Something to think about: Expecting something finished or completed, expecting quick and easy perfection from anyone or anything is never realistic. Nothing falls ready into our lap. What we put in is what we get. All we can do is to daily put a little love, care, kindness, hospitality and quality into what we do, and we will see a change.

Announcements For This Week:

1. Continue praying for the second batch of clergy, who will be on their annual retreat from Sept 20--24, via Zoom.

2. Getting Ready for Re-opening of Churches for worship.

a. Level 1: Sept 3-30, Monitoring the National COVID Situation: The facts: The focus of the National Recovery Plan is to stabilise the economy and revive the livelihood of the many affected; the daily COVID-19 situation and death rates are worrying; there are the fully vaccinated, the partially vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

b. Level 2: Sept 19-30, Mobilising the PHTs: Readying the Parish Health Teams for new SOPs and protocols;

c. Level 3: Oct 1, Masses Begin: Initiate church opening for worship with controlled gatherings, strict SOPs and protocols.

d. Level 4: Unavoidable Measures: The unvaccinated and those waiting for the full dose are not permitted for now. Other arrangements will be made. e. MJD will reverse its decision if the situation does not improve.

3. Pray With the Holy Father, a 24-hour online prayer time organised by the Shalom World. The focus is on the Pope’s Monthly Prayer Intentions, with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, every second Saturday of the month, beginning at 12 noon. https://www.shalomworld. org/swprayer

4. Live on YouTube CHARIS Malaysia, Novena to the Holy Spirit (Sept 7-15 Sept nightly at 8.00pm), in preparation for Malaysia Day, which climaxes with Malaysia Day Mass with Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau on Sept 16 at 8.00pm. Unite in the Holy Spirit. https://www. youtube.com/channel/UCLVJs8CPdvnuCDHu12Mt88Q/ videos

5. Join the Season of Creation programme series for Week 2 which begins on September 14 with the topic on Eating Up Our Children’s Future: How Our Food Contributes to the Climate Emergency. Register using the Google Forms provided. https://forms.gle/KXXeFEy3jG3o3YSG7

This week’s Question and Query:
The Q asks: Has Pope Francis disturbed the Catholic Conservatives? (cf. Massimo Faggioli, Church in a Change of Era)

1. The two key words of his pontificate that appear to have challenged them were, the ‘poor’ and ‘mercy’.

2. His stand on the poor challenged their political religious identity, their neo-liberal economic culture and their individualistic mentality. They could not accept the ethical demands of Catholic morality, the idea of the “common good”.

3. His stand on mercy violated the “law and order” mentality of the self-appointed guardians of Catholic orthodoxy, that the unchangeable doctrines cannot be contaminated by theological developments and pastorality of doctrine. He witnessed to the Gospel that continues to be a vital source of “eternal newness”.

Thank you for reading. Jesus said “do not worry about your life…the Heavenly Father knows”. But there is worry everywhere. When we cause another to worry, are we not going against God’s design? Let us continue to build God’s Kingdom together.

Bishop Bernard Paul
September 10, 2021

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