ome of the German bishops promoting intercommunion with Protestants have been in the headlines recently. It is a continuing saga including directives from Pope Francis more than a couple of years ago. In 2011 bishop Bill Morris of Toowoomba was asked by the Vatican to retire because of his attitude to some of the Sacraments.
A few days ago, with some of my priest friends, I went up Mount Gibraltar in Southern Highlands to various lookouts. After a period of introspection in a retreat centre, viewing the panorama from a mountain top was a fitting finale for the program.
With all that is happening with COVID19 and related matters, is it the best time to commence evangelisation plans? When is the best time to speak about religious matters?
Thirty years ago, at a shack of a building in Kerala India, a young man and his wife came to see me. I was just about to light a fire in the cooking place in the smaller of the two rooms which was the designated kitchen in the shed. The bigger room which had a table and a couple of benches was the parish centre and my dining room. There I was about to establish a parish.
Once speaking with some primary school children in their class, one of them asked me, “what do you do?” I didn’t have to tell them that I am their priest; they already knew it. They just want to know about my life. I told them that I do Jesus’ job.
Sydney siders have been hoping for more relaxation of COVID restrictions, considering two weeks of no community transmission of the virus. But the premier is more cautious of relaxing the restrictions for the fear of relapse of the dreaded spread of the virus. Anything that is adverse to the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters is to be resisted effectively.
JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments of the government have helped to contain unemployment during the pandemic. Protecting the employment of the people has always been a very important matter. Wellbeing of the people depends on employment and the income it would generate. Therefore, no one would think of abandoning a well-established income source. Is that the truth always?
The defiance of Donald Trump has resulted in an impeachment, a second one for a president for the first time in the history of USA. It is his unwillingness to put the good of the State before his self-centred interests that caused this to happen. Democracy and trust in a government are essential for the polity of the nation to be lively and healthy. Only leaders who are totally committed to serve their nation selflessly, not self-serving individuals, can make a nation great.
In September 2018, when I was in Jerusalem for a Bible study, I visited the place of Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan. It was at Qasr al-Yahud (tower of the Jews), bordering the Kingdom of Jordan.
What a year it was in 2020! In this New Year we wish and pray that 2021 will be better than the one that is past. COVID 19 continues to challenge humanity in all aspects of life. Our proudly established medical systems are failing to ensure health and well-being.