December 1. World AIDS DAY. Johnson sat thinking back over the last 25 years. “When AIDS was first diagnosed there was so much fear, shame and stigma attached to it. People would talk but few would say, ‘My son is infected,”’ or ‘My daughter died of AIDS.’ Families would close ranks. Even now it remains unsaid, although we see the signs. We know that AIDS was the reason we ended up looking after 6 grandchildren at one time and our daughter and son came home very sick. She died in those early days but he is well taking his ARVs regularly.” Johnson turned to Josephine and said, “ We say it is a disease and not a sin, but so often there was a sinful act committed somewhere that caused the infection. It is also not right that the infection rate is still too high. In our day the disease that has affected so may is COVID-19. While the stigma of being positive is not the same as for HIV, there is nevertheless fear of becoming infected, and fear of death and all that surrounds it.

Pope Francis: To want to form a family is to resolve to be a part of God’s dream, to choose to dream with him, to want to build with him, to join him in this saga of building a world where no one will feel alone. AL321 For reflection and sharing. During this Advent ask how committed are we to share in God’s dream as individuals and members of our family?