January 31. Sunday 4B.  Fr Brian noted that this day is the feast of St John Bosco, the founder of the Salesians and one who cared for and loved young people, especially those that were disadvantaged. Father spoke to youth and families too, “Whatever your life experience, youth are extremely important today, in this very difficult time of dealing with the coronavirus.  Ask yourselves, ‘Who has been responsible in their behaviour, old or young?   Who has been responsible for some of the superspreader events that almost brought our whole country to its knees?  Who are the front-line workers, day by day slaving away to save lives?   This month of January started as a month of new beginnings and hopefully renewed decisions to change.  We had thought that by this time there would be an end to Covid-19,  a vaccination would be available that would kill the virus, but the end is nowhere in sight yet. So new decisions must be taken, together, taking into account our people, our society and our world. Self-centred lack of concern for the greater good is like having an evil spirit inhabiting us.  Jesus can rebuke that spirit and replace it with a spirit of loving concern and compassion.  Scripture and the writings of Pope Francis are not abstract and removed from life but can and should be applied to the realities of life, whether we are old or young.”  

Jesus went into the synagogue to teach. And he taught with authority.   There was a man with an unclean spirit who cried out to Jesus.  But Jesus rebuked the spirit and said, “Come out of him.”  And the spirit convulsed the man and came out.   They were all amazed at his teaching and spread his fame through Galilee.  Mark 1:21-18.  Pope Francis writing to youth: I want you to know that, when the Lord thinks of each of you and what he wants to give you, he sees you as his close friend.  And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in the world.  This is his gift especially for you to discover, use, build on and grow with throughout your life. Christus Vivit. 288.  

Our own days seem to be showing signs that ancient conflicts though long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise. Once more we are being reminded that each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher This is the path. Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity are not achieved once and for all, they have to be realized each day. FT 11

Reflect and Share with and about families.