The Jesus factor
I cannot help but support the excellent December 19 editorial The Jesus Factor. It resonates strongly with the question marks I have had over many years re the apparent reluctance or shyness of the Adelaide diocese to explicitly present the Catholic ethos and identity in the charitable works it carries out, while we continue to hear only the negative publicity meted out to the Catholic Church today by the media.
When my wife was volunteering with Vinnies in the 90s, she used to display pictures of Jesus and Mary in the transparent cover of her folder to silently reveal her identity, as her faith was the primary reason for carrying out the work in the first place. She was asked not to – not that she refrained.
When I was a member of the Diocesan pastoral council in the nineties, I never got an answer when I asked why our flagship organisation Centacare was not called Catholic Care, when other Catholic dioceses in Australia use Catholic Care and when other Christian churches use Anglicare and Uniting Care.
Word of God
Pope Francis’ important call for us to focus on the Word of God on the third Sunday of Ordinary time may easily have become lost as Vietnamese New Year, Australia Day and the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal also had a place in our Sunday liturgy.
With the need for Catholics to be ready for a deeper following of the Way of Jesus as the Plenary Council 2020 approaches, I would like to suggest this simple prayer be widely taught to accompany the three crosses signed by parishioners when preparing to listen to the gospel:
May God be in my thoughts that I may respond to God’s Word. May God be on my lips that I may speak God’s Lord. May God be in my heart that I may love God’s Word.
Sr Catherine Seward RSM
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