MJD News Update #68

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, dear People of God. We have begun a new year. The season’s readings may sound scary, with all the signs in the sky and on earth.

Dec 03, 2021

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, dear People of God. We have begun a new year. The season’s readings may sound scary, with all the signs in the sky and on earth. The new variant from Africa, the Omicron, a more resistant virus, is causing concern. Affecting travel. Borders are closing again. In the midst of all the bad news, the Scripture calls us to vigilance and patient waiting. The Lord is saying: “I am with you always. I will see you through”.

Fearful or faith-filled times? The Melaka elections are over. But excuses and the political games are not over. The price of bread, chicken, eggs and cooking oil has been upped quietly. Excuses followed. Our political leaders are ignorant of history. The immediate cause of the French and Russian Revolutions was bread. When people are deprived of their staple food, they react. So many announcements, programmes and efforts to turn things around, but it appears to be ‘syiok sendiri’ initiatives. No follow-up on audit reports. No compliance with established proper management procedures. No removal of the incompetent. Yet a star appears to shine. The Petronas CEO terminated corrupt officers and warned of zero tolerance of corruption by this esteemed institution. Continue to believe that there are good people, that goodness still prevails, and that good times follow when good is sown.

A Thought for the Week: To laugh or not to laugh?
There was nothing pompous about the Master. Wild, hilarious laughter prevailed each time he spoke, to the dismay of those who were solemn about their spirituality, and themselves. Said one disillusioned visitor, “The man’s a clown!” “No, no,” said a disciple. “You’ve missed the point: a clown gets you to laugh at him, a Master gets you to laugh at yourself.”

Something To Think About:

Susan Sparks, an ex-lawyer turned comedian and Baptist minister, said “If you can laugh at yourself, you can forgive yourself, and if you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others.” Jeanne Robertson, humorist, says, “We can never truly learn to laugh at ourselves until we learn to accept the things about ourselves that are either impossible or impractical to change.”

Announcements for this Week:

1. The Omicron variant is here. Some nations are considering closing their borders. This virus is more deadly, more stealthy, more resistant. Remember to SANITISE, keep SAFE DISTANCE and SHIELD yourself.

2. Advent Penitential Services and Confessions are coming up. The schedule will be available on the MJD website and social media platforms.

3. The Caritas-MJDOHD has initiated the Advent 2021 Project, a fundraising drive to help the Orang Asal children with their education. Contact your parish CaritasSSVP-POHD team.

4. The Synodal Process at the Diocesan level is progressing. The compiled report and findings will be made available to all parishes, leaders, ministries and clergy for ongoing study. Study days will be arranged for all.

This week’s Question and Query.

The Q asks: Why the MJD50 Prayer?
1. This is the Prayer of the People of the Diocese of Malacca Johore who are preparing for the golden jubilee celebration in 2022. With the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the celebration which began in 2020 on St Paul’s Hill, Melaka, will now climax at Majodi Centre, Plentong in 2023.

2. The Prayer begins: O God, Father of all peoples and nations, who gathers and walks with your people, we thank you for our journey of 50 years as the Diocese of Malacca Johore. Grant us the grace to meditate on “OUR HISTORY, OUR STORY, OUR MISSION” to grow in awareness and appreciation of our identity.

3. We have a long history which goes back to 1511 with the landing of the Portuguese. The institutional history features the establishment of mission centres, Mass centres, chapels, and churches. The many storytellers and their stories of faith will remain undiscovered if not for the efforts of the Social History Team. After the ministry and pastoral efforts of the Portuguese and French Fathers, the local clergy began to build communities of faith. Our identity depends on knowing our history and stories. Discover your Catholic roots. Pray to hear the Spirit in the church and diocese.

Thank you for reading. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”, said Jesus in John 14:26. Let us continue “Building His Kingdom” together.

Bishop Bernard Paul
December 3, 2021

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