May 9.    (Ascension Thursday is moved to Sunday in South Africa.)  A general discussion was held. “Why do we hear mostly about men in the stories of the early Church? How did it really work, what about their families and wives?”    “We are used to worshipping in the parish church these days but in the very early church it was in homes where they would have the “breaking of bread” for all family members, children as well as servants and slaves.”  “That was a direct inheritance from Judaism, where they still celebrate a sabbath meal at home on a Friday night.”  “It’s hard to believe but I’ve also heard that in the times of persecution that followed those early days in some families a member who was a Christian had been betrayed by others and martyred.”

Reflect, share, scripture: Paul found a Jew named Aquila lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius the emperor had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.  And he went to see them and because they were of the same trade he stayed with them and they worked together.  Acts 18:1-3.  Pope Francis:  A married couple who experience the power of love know that this love is called to bind the wounds of the outcast, to foster a culture of encounter and to fight for justice. AL183  friends and other families are part of a larger family, as well as communities of families who support one another in their difficulties, their social commitments and their faith. Al197  ACTION.  Consider the powerful witness of couples working together with a priest in a parish or a programme.