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Living close to neighbour

The last lines of today’s reading are, to say the least, are highly appropriate for the citizens of any nation to pray as an expression of love of country.

“Jesus went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.”

Pope Francis has insisted quite a few times on the Church that the Church should be close to people, because that is the way Jesus carried out the ministry he handed on. Consequently, it is good to be reminded today that Jesus went around the whole of Galilee.

He had a message of salvation and wanted to deliver it person to person. He then did what Pope Francis is now asking of the Church. He backed up his words to people by what he did for them. He dealt with those most in need by healing them of diseases and illnesses. By doing that he opened their lives to the good news of salvation.

Reassuring as this may be, it is still a step away from where the Church is in Hong Kong. We have good reason to be proud of our Church and confident in its future, just as we can be proud of our city and even have confident in its
future.

Nonetheless the Church in Hong Kong has many difficulties to face in the future, some from the outside and some from within. It still needs to work in society to be part of generating a more inclusive and welcoming society. The starting point for recovery may well be in our homes and our neighbourhoods. It is there that we learn to care for others. After all Jesus commenced his mission of ensuring that his salvation would reach the ends of the earth by reaching out to the people of Galilee and showing that he could meet their real needs.

His journey beyond that was never an easy one and he warned those who chose to follow him that they too would have crosses to
carry.

The penitential act, which begins our Sunday Eucharist, is introduced by the important words, “Let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.”

In the Confiteor we acknowledge before God and each other that we have sinned in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do. The celebrant then prays that God will have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

The penitential act is the first step towards celebrating gratefully the mystery of our salvation.

A good prayer for this week may be, “Give me, O Lord my God, love for you, respect for myself, zeal for the well being of others, insight into the wonder of your creation. May I strive to live responsibly by helping those dependent on me, by caring for my family and friends by being tolerant of those I disagree with.”

 

 

λ Diocese of Sandhurst