South Sudan's Challenge

South Sudan's Challenge
Healing & Reconciliation

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 25thSunday of the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings:  Wisdom 2: 12. 17-20; James 3: 16 – 4: 3; Mark 9: 30 - 37

Selected Passage: "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all." (Mark 9: 35b)

Meditation:  In our daily life, we are like the disciples who often argue who is the greatest among ourselves or who shall be the first in the community or in our association.  Yet, in discipleship, the call we receive is to become servant of all.

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

24th Sunday (B)

Short Reflection for the 24th Sunday of the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings:  Isaiah 50: 5 – 9a; James 2: 14 – 18; Mark 8: 27 - 35

Selected Passage:  “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny him/herself, take up his/her cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8: 34)

 Meditation:  The same question is being asked of us today… Who is Jesus to us? The answer is, often, found NOT in our words but in our actions and attitudes.  To know ho Jesus is to continue listening to him and journeying with him. Often, this means being like Christ – taking up our crosses, denying ourselves and follow him – a life offered for the life of the many.

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…


Monday, September 10, 2018

From Paranoia to Metanoia

FROM PARANOIA TO METANOIA

The word, metanoia, comes from two Greek words: Meta, meaning above; and Nous, meaning mind. Metanoia invites us to move above our normal instincts, into a bigger mind, into a mind which rises above the proclivity for self-interest and self-protection which so frequently trigger feelings of bitterness, negativity, and lack of empathy inside us.
Metanoia invites us to meet all situations, however unfair they may seem, with understanding and an empathic heart. Moreover, metanoia stands in contrast to paranoia. In essence, metanoia is “non-paranoia”, so that Jesus’ opening words in the Synoptic Gospels might be better rendered: Be un-paranoid and believe that it is good news. Live in trust!
Henri Nouwen, in a small but deeply insightful book entitled, With Open Hands, describes wonderfully the difference between metanoia and paranoia. He suggests that there are two fundamental postures with which we can go through life. We can, he says, go through life in the posture of paranoia. The posture of paranoia is symbolized by a closed fist, by a protective stance, by habitual suspicion and distrust. Paranoia has us feeling that we forever need to protect ourselves from unfairness, that others will hurt us if we show any vulnerability, and that we need to assert our strength and talents to impress others. Paranoia quickly turns warmth into cold, understanding into suspicion, and generosity into self-protection.
The posture of metanoia, on the other hand, is seen in Jesus on the cross. There, on the cross, we see him exposed and vulnerable, his arms spread in a gesture of embrace, and his hands open, with nails through them. That’s the antithesis of paranoia, wherein our inner doors of warmth, empathy, and trust spontaneous slam shut whenever we perceive a threat. Metanoia, the meta mind, the bigger heart, never closes those doors.
Jesus, in his message and his person, invites us to metanoia, to move towards and stay within our big minds and big hearts, so that in the face of a stinging remark our inner doors of warmth and trust do not close.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection on the 23rd Sunday of the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings:  Isaiah 35: 4-7a; James 2: 1-5; Mark 7:31-37
Selected Passage: “He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue;  then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" (That is, "Be opened!")  And (immediately) the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly." (Mark 7: 33-35)

 Meditation:  We need to hear again the word "Ephphata" and find its healing power in us today. It is an invitation to be opened to the prompting of the Spirit; to be opened to the call to go to the margin and the poor and the excluded; and to be opened to become the Church of communion that includes ALL.


DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…


Sunday, September 2, 2018

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 22nd Sunday in the Ordinary Time (B)
Readings: Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-9; James 1: 17-18, 21b-27; Mark 7: 1-8, 21-23
Selected Text: “He responded, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition." (Mark 7: 6-8))
Meditation: How easily do we make idols of our rules and ways? They are NOT God’s! They must know what comes from God and what comes from man. The important thing is that we worship God NOT only with our lips, but with our hearts and deeds. Visit: www.badaliyya.blogspot.com
DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:
1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips.
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!
It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…

Sunday, August 12, 2018

An Invitation to a DEEPER Virtue

AN INVITATION TO A DEEPER VIRTUE
Can you love an enemy? Can you not give back in kind? Can you move beyond your natural reactions and transform the energy that enters you from others, so as to not give back bitterness for bitterness, harsh words for harsh words, curse for curse, hatred for hatred, murder for murder?
Can you rise above your sense of being wronged? Can you renounce your need to be right? Can you move beyond the itch to always have what’s due you? Can you forgive, even when every feeling inside of you rebels at its unfairness? Can you take in bitterness, curses, hatred, and murder itself, and give back graciousness, blessing, love, understanding, and forgiveness?
That’s the root invitation inside of Christianity and it’s only when we do this that we move beyond “an eye for an eye”.
To do this willingly and without resentment is difficult. It’s not easy to do this and not grow resentful and manipulative. More commonly, we carry others’ crosses – but end up being bitter about it and sending them the bill. Growing resentful or manipulative while serving others is a perennial danger.
The invitation of Jesus to what’s higher, more sublime, more noble, remains; as does the gentle, understanding, faithful, non-threatening, non-coercive, non-guilt inducing, but persistent and uncompromising, presence of God.
To read more click here or copy this address into your browser
http://ronrolheiser.com/an-invitation-to-a-deeper-virtue/…

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 20th Sunday of the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings: Proverbs 9: 1-6; Ephesians 5: 15-20; John 6 51-58

Selected Text: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (John 6: 51)

Meditation: We are invited to partake of the living bread – Jesus Christ, the Lord. And by partaking of the living bread, we become truly ALIVE in Jesus and we become the living bread for others. We are reminded, too, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks his blood remains in me and I in him”. www.badaliyya.blogspot.com

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.    Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.   Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.   Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

19th Sunday Short Reflection


Short Reflection for the 19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings: 1 Kings 19: 4-8; Ephesians 4: 30 - 5: 2; John 6: 41-51

Selected Text: “It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.”  (John 6: 45)

Meditation: Do we truly allow ourselves to be taught by God? Do we listen to God and learn from the Lord in our work and life?  When we partake of the Bread of life - Jesus himself - we are in communion with him - being one with him!

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.    Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.   Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.   Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…



God as Victim

GOD AS VICTIM


God is not to be confusedly identified with the myths of success, power, glamour, and popularity. Never confuse God and what is holy with current cultural religion which, antithetical to Christ, worships the included, the glamorous, the ones who aren’t shamed and ridiculed, and the ones who seem important and indispensable.

The God of our culture and the God that is preached in so many of our churches is not the God who dies on a cross, is hated, spat upon, and is excluded and scapegoated in ignorance. No, our culture does not worship a crucified God. The God Jesus revealed, is still, in our very own culture, excluded, mocked, scapegoated, made expendable, and often killed, mostly in the name of God and truth. Where do we see this?

Our own culture, like every other culture past and present, creates a category of persons that it deems expendable and then subsequently victimizes through exclusion, ridicule, scapegoating, and often through actual death. Who constitutes that category shifts slightly from time to time, but there is always a common denominator, it includes always those who are the weakest.

Thus, for instance, our culture, marginalizes and scapegoats the sick, the poor, the handicapped, the unborn, the unattractive, the non-productive, and the aged. These we deem expendable and subsequently decertify in terms of full status within the human race. Worse still, we identify God and holiness with those who are doing the excluding. But that is antithetical to true religion – and true wisdom.

Where is God? God is on the side of the victim, standing with the one who is excluded, especially present in the one being ridiculed, and dying in the one who is being put to death.

True Christianity knows this: It worships the scapegoat – the one who is surrounded by the halo of hatred.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 17th Sunday in the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings: 2 Kings 4: 42-44; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15

Selected Passage: “A large crowd followed Jesus, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.”  (John 6: 2)

Reflection: Do people, likewise, see the signs we are performing in the name of Jesus on the poor, the migrants and the excluded in the way we live and minister? Jesus fed a large crowd with five barley loaves and two fish - all they can eat and with surplus.  We can perform the same signs if we share the bounty of God’s gifts with those in need.  We will not run out of supply, if we keep on sharing and distributing food to the hungry. There will be more than enough.

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…


Monday, July 16, 2018

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 16th Sunday in the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings: Jeremiah 23: 1-6; Ephesians 2: 13-18; Mark 6: 30-34

Selected Passage: “When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6: 34)

Meditation: Jesus’ challenge to us, today, is to do likewise, that is, to have compassion for the people we are sent to minister. In the midst of uncertainties and insecurities, the real pastors accompany the sheep and stay with them. “Pastors must have the smell of sheep.” (PP. Francis) This means that Pastors must live side by side with the people.

Visit: www.badaliyya.blogspot.com

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...

Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips.
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…

Monday, July 9, 2018

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Short Reflection for the 15th Sunday of the Ordinary Time (B)

Readings: Amos 7: 12-15; Ephesians 1: 3-14; Mark 6: 7-13

Selected Gospel Passage: “He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick - no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.”  (Mark 6: 8-9)

Reflection: Jesus’ instruction to his disciples continues to challenge us both in our life style and ministry. This is a call to a simple life-style! Yet, we have perfected the art of giving ourselves comfort, privileges and entitlements in carrying the mission entrusted to us. The preaching and the living of the Gospel are not tied to any material possessions.  While these possessions may enhance the proclamation of the Word, they may also hinder the genuine witness to it. Beware!

DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.    Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.   Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.   Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…