April 29.   Wayne added his thoughts,” In these weeks after Easter Jesus kept on calling on his disciples to believe in him and in his Father and to be true to his teaching. He also spoke of the coming of the Spirit as comforter and teacher. In John’s gospel he refers to walking in the light and avoiding darkness without really spelling out ways in which the light is the good and the dark is the evil.  But the example of washing their feet is showing them a new way of practicing authority, justice not abusive power, humility and tender loving care for those who are weaker or those under one’s care.   I was fascinated when I heard that Pope Francis himself washed the feet of Muslims and prisoners one year at Eastertime.”  

When Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples he said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.“ John 13:16-20    Pope Francis:  In my fraternal meeting with the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb we declared that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism.  These tragic realities are the consequences of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and interpretations made by religious groups who have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women.  God, the Almighty has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want his name to be used to terrorise people. FT 285.  Reflect, share, pray  for a growth in fraternity and tolerance between people of different faiths.

April 30.  Jock shared,   “During this time of COVID-19 the whole world is focused on life and death.  We’re all concerned about getting infected, getting better if we are, and should we or should we not get vaccinated. At this time well over 2 million people have died from it.  Were they prepared, were they and their families ready to accept the reality?   Jesus’ words are a comfort, assuring his disciples of his and his Father’ love and care.  I thought I was ready to accept the death of my beloved wife, but it was a dreadful shock and we all went through weeks of deep grieving, on our own and gradually learned to share our feelings and thoughts with one another, as I know the Holy Spirit came to comfort us.  As I pick up the pieces of my life, I find a new joy, a growing interest in creation and environmental matters.“    

Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. in my Father’s house are many rooms. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am you may be also.”    Pope Francis:  The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists.   The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary.  The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways.  When we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty we must praise the whole Trinity. The divine persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships.  Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.  LS238-40     Reflect, share, pray,  that each member of the Trinity will enrich our lives with the love that unites them.  


OVERVIEW: Whether it is a study of botany, biology, human physiology or spirituality the gift of co-creation with God, in nature, should be recognized as one of God’s greatest gifts.  It is the male and female in many areas of nature, a man and woman, ideally through a loving committed relationship, who continue God’s creation as well as its sustenance and nurturance. 

Parents, human as well as animal, have the task of forming and educating their offspring. This has taken different forms throughout history. An intimate bond is created by parenting figures and their offspring. The ideal of the love of their father and mother for each other too is an important gift to children.

Effective human parenting is amongst the most complex relationships today often because of changing conditions and values. We dare not also forget the human capacity for good and evil seen so clearly in parenting relationships. Unfortunately little training is offered for this all important task.  

The gift of a new child entrusted by the Lord to a father and a mother, begins with acceptance, continues with lifelong protection and has as its final goal the joy of eternal life.  God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity. AL166.

Only if we devote time to our children, speaking of important things with simplicity and concern and finding healthy ways for them to spend their time will we be able to shield them from harm.  Vigilance is always necessary and neglect is never beneficial. Parents have to help prepare their children and adolescents to confront the risks of aggression, abuse or drug addiction.  AL 260

SETTING THE SCENE.  With the parenting theme for this month some of the THOUGHTS are in the context of a family at home and others in family faith sharing groups.  Also see suggestions for May as Mary’s month.

May 1. St Joseph the Worker.   Year of Joseph.  St Joseph the Worker.   Workers’ Day SA.  Joseph Perelli,  proudly shared in his family group.   “My own family do know why I feel proud of my name and proud of my parents for giving me the name, Joseph.  I can say I feel proud of Pope Francis too for instituting a YEAR OF ST JOSEPH  8 – 12 – 2020 to 8 -12-2021 and recognizing the importance of St Joseph as a model for both fathers and workers. Joseph was a foster-father and today we recognize that role and sometimes called it “social fathering.”  How often do men put those two roles together?  They do give value and meaning to a man’s life.  

At that time, Jesus, coming to his own country, taught in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?  Is not his mother called Mary?” Matthew 13:54-58. Pope Francis:   Extract from Patris Corde – With a father’s heart, 6.   Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour. In our own day there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.  Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the Kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion. It becomes an opportunity for the fulfilment not only of oneself, but also of that primary cell of society which is the family. A family without work is particularly vulnerable to difficulties, tensions, estrangement and even break-up. How can we speak of human dignity without working to ensure that everyone is able to earn a decent living? Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us. Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work.   St Joseph, labouring for the welfare of your family, Pray for us.

May 2. Sunday Easter 5.   Fr Brian shared a brief thought on the image of pruning the vine. “There’s no such thing as ‘I’m all right Jack,’ is there? Just when you think you’re OK there is something more that can or should be done. Don’t you find that there is a real challenge to grow as parents in your families?  Kids will tell you that it sometimes seems that God is never satisfied.  Tell them, ‘Remember, if you think you are standing still in one place you’re actually going backwards because everything else is moving forward. Just look at nature; there is always something happening, even if it is hibernating. That is where our faith and our trust in God’s love comes in.  That is what we can pray for together.”     

I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.   Every branch of mine that bears no fruit he takes away and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit.   John 15:1-8   Pope Francis:  “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways   You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands, you shall be happy and it shall go well with you.   Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house. Your children will be like olive shoots around your table.  (Ps128)  AL 8.   Mary, blessed wife and  mother, pray for us.